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Statement by AARP CEO Bill Novelli in Reaction to the 2005 Social Security Trustees' Report

Even though the Social Security trustees report reduces solvency projections by one year, the report reaffirms the value and stability of Social Security. While it needs changes, Social Security continues to be sound for decades to come. But we should act sooner rather than later to make the changes that will assure Social Security's guaranteed lifelong, inflation protected benefits for our children and grandchildren.

AARP has a 50 year history of educating our members about Social Security and various options for strengthening and reforming the program to meet the needs of beneficiaries. It's time for a more vigorous dialogue on sensible changes to assure Social Security's promised benefits for our children and grandchildren. We welcome specific solvency options from all parties. Creating private accounts that drain funds from Social Security would cut guaranteed benefits while passing the bill to future generations.

AARP leaders and volunteers are meeting with all parties in the Social Security debate and we continue to be eager to engage in thoughtful discussion of the options for Social Security's future. Our members have attended hundreds of forums, sent nearly a half million letters, e-mails and phone calls to their members of Congress and shown up to talk with them at home. They stand ready to support fruitful public debate by their elected representatives.

While we question the wisdom of private accounts that divert funds away from Social Security, we do not question the value of a national dialogue on the best way to strengthen Social Security for the future. AARP will continue to educate members and the public about the facts and real issues in this debate.

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