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New AARP Ad Campaign Highlights Danger in Proposals for Private Accounts Carved Out of Social Security

To keep insecurity out of Social Security, AARP is reminding members of Congress and the public about the risks of carving out private accounts from Social Security which millions of older Americans rely on as their only source for guaranteed retirement income.

In full-page advertisements that will begin running in over 59 newspapers on Tuesday, January 4th, AARP warns that turning Social Security into a program where benefits are based on private investments poses serious risks. "Winners and losers are stock market terms. Do you really want them to become retirement terms?" one ad asks.

"We must not forget that Social Security is the only guaranteed source of income that a majority of workers have for their retirement. AARP will not agree to jeopardize people’s Social Security benefits," said AARP President Marie Smith.

"Americans are saving too little, whether on their own or through plans such as 401(k)s. Workers will need Social Security for its guaranteed lifelong benefits when they retire," she added.

AARP CEO Bill Novelli said, "There are right ways and wrong ways to strengthen Social Security. Passing on several trillion dollars in additional federal debt to future generations as a result of diverting money away from Social Security to fund private accounts is the wrong way."

"We are not advocating for the status quo," Novelli explained. "We need to make a series of modest changes sooner rather than later to strengthen the program for future generations. But siphoning funds out of Social Security to finance private accounts could make the program’s financial outlook worse."

Another AARP ad depicts a man and woman in their early forties who say, "If we feel like gambling, we’ll play the slots… there are places in retirement planning for risk. Social Security is not one of them."

The ads, developed for AARP by GSD&M, will run January 4–16 in 53 daily newspapers and six publications influential to lawmakers on Capitol Hill. In addition, AARP members will be calling their representatives in Washington to let them know that they oppose plans that take money out of the Social Security trust fund to finance private accounts.

AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan membership organization dedicated to making life better for people 50 and over. We provide information and resources; engage in legislative, regulatory and legal advocacy; assist members in serving their communities; and offer a wide range of unique benefits, special products, and services for our members. These include AARP The Magazine, published bimonthly; AARP Bulletin, our monthly newspaper; AARP Segunda Juventud, our quarterly publication for Hispanic members; NRTA Live and Learn for National Retired Teachers Association members; and our Web site, We have staffed offices in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

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