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Government Watch

2012 Archives: Financial Security and Consumer Affairs

AARP correspondence to lawmakers and regulators

The following documents related to consumer affairs and the financial security of people 50-plus are presented in reverse chronological order.

NOVEMBER

L: AARP sent a letter to all Members of the Senate and House reiterating our opposition to adopting a chained consumer price index to calculate the Social Security cost of living adjustment for the purpose of reducing the deficit. (November 8) Senate PDF & House PDF

L: AARP sent a letter to Tom Vilsack Secretary of Agriculture for the United States Department of Agriculture thanking the agency for partnering with so many of our volunteers and staff in addressing the immeasurable devastation left by Hurricane Sandy. AARP urged the Department to sustain its current efforts and make available certain administrative exceptions where necessary to ensure that the most vulnerable persons and families can have access to essential nutrition. (November 7) PDF

L: On November 08, 2012 AARP sent a letter to members of Congress and the President opposing the deficit proposal that would reduce Social Security benefits by adopting the Chained Consumer Price Index (CCPI). In the letter AARP CEO A. Barry Rand states “Reducing Social Security benefits by moving to a chained consumer price index (CCPI) – estimated to take $112 billion dollars out of the pockets of current and future Social Security beneficiaries in the next 10 years alone – is inappropriate and unwarranted.” Rand also adds that “Social Security is not the cause of our current large budget deficits. In fact, as you know, Social Security is a self-financed, off-budget program and any reduction in Social Security does nothing to address the shortfall in the rest of the federal budget.” (Nov. 8) PDF

C: To the CFBP regarding its request for information on “Effective Financial Education”, to help consumers make better-informed financial decisions. (Nov. 1) PDF

OCTOBER

L: Sign on letter to the Department of Transportation regarding development of several performance measures specified in MAP-21 for roads designated as part of the National Highway System, safety, congestion, and freight. (Oct. 25) PDF

AUGUST

L: Letter to Richard Cordray, Director, Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection regarding consumer use of reverse mortgages. (Aug. 31) PDF

JULY

C: To a CFPB “Proposed Procedural Rules to Establish Supervisory Authority over Certain Nonbank Covered Persons based upon Risk Determination” (July 24) PDF

C: To the CFPB notice of proposed rulemaking on “Electronic Fund Transfer (Regulation E) related to Prepaid Cards.” Our comments address significant concerns that have been raised regarding high fees, hidden costs, and inadequate disclosures. (July 23) PDF

C: To the Employee Benefits Security Administration’s request regarding the Department’s attempt to gather information on the interrelationship of self-funded health plans and stop-loss insurance, and the impact of these plan designs on the private health insurance market. (July 2) PDF

JUNE

C: To the CFPB regarding the impacts of overdraft programs on consumers. (June 29) PDF

C: To the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) in response to a request for information regarding scope, methods, and data sources for conducting a study of pre-dispute arbitration agreements. (June 22) PDF

C: Comment letter to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) recommending enforcement priorities related to protecting older workers from age discrimination. (June 19) PDF

L: Letter to Sen. Gillibrand (D-NY) supporting her amendment to maintain and protect funding for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) as the Senate begins floor consideration of the Farm Bill reauthorization. (June 6) PDF

MAY

L: Sign on letter to the Transportation Conferees calling for the retention of the Senate-passed Cardin-Cochran amendment provision that gives local grants for pedestrian safety and other projects. (May 30) PDF

L: Sign on letter to the Transportation Conferees addressing provisions for older driver and pedestrian safety in the Highway Safety Improvement Program. (May 23) PDF

L: To the Senate expressing concerns with the budgets being considered for debate. (May 16) PDF

L: To the House expressing concerns with the reconciliation proposal pursuant to the FY 2013. (May 10) PDF

L: To transportation conferees about retaining several Senate provisions, including prioritizing the repair of existing roads and bridges, and local control over funds that can be used for pedestrian and bicycle projects (the Cardin-Cochran amendment). (May 14) PDF

L: To transportation conferees, the letter calls for conferees to adopt several Senate transit provisions, including restricting the merger of smaller transit programs to only Section 5310 elderly and disabled program and the New Freedom (Section 5317) program, and new eligibility for operating assistance under the new Section 5310 program. (May 10) PDF

S: Before the House Financial Services Subcommittee on Insurance, Housing and Community Development to defend the validity of the federally insured Home Equity Conversion Mortgage Program (HECM) that provides funding and insurance for reverse mortgages under specified conditions, and subject to consumer protections including counseling.  (May 9) PDF

L: To the House and Senate expressing our belief that the Social Security payroll tax holiday should not be extended beyond the current year. (May 7) PDF

APRIL

S: To the House Ways and Means Committee regarding the hearing on “Impact of Limitations on the Use of Tax-Advantaged Accounts for the Purchase of Over-the-Counter Medication.” (April 25) PDF

C: To the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) request for comment regarding payday lending. (April 23) PDF

C: To the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in response to the agency’s study regarding financial literacy among investors. (April 20) PDF

L: To Chairman Gallegly (R) and Ranking Member Lofgren (D) of the House Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Immigration Policy and Enforcement in reference to its hearing titled “Document Fraud in Employment Authorization: How an E-Verify Requirement Can Help.” (April 18) PDF

L: To Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) Assistant Secretary Phyllis Borzi in support of the Department of Labor’s (DOL) current guidance on electronic disclosure of pension plan documents. The letter is in response to an industry letter urging that plans be permitted to handle all communications in electronic form, without any standards for ensuring participants retain a meaningful opportunity to choose written disclosures. AARP filed comments last summer in response to a request for information from DOL on this issue. This letter follows up on and reinforces that previous correspondence. (April 17) PDF

C: To the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) in response to a proposed rulemaking titled, “Defining Larger Participants in Certain Consumer Financial Products and Services Markets.” (April 17) PDF

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