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AARP: Fighting for Older Americans 2010 Advocacy Agenda

Protecting Retirement Security: Unfair lending practices, foreclosures, fraud and excessive fees have robbed millions of older Americans of their financial stability. That’s why AARP is supporting protections to hold banks accountable to all Americans, such as establishment of a consumer financial protection agency. These protections should:

Require Transparency: AARP is fighting to pass the "401(k) Fair Disclosure for Retirement Security Act," which would provide timely and understandable information about plan fees and expenses to 401(k) plan participants and sponsors, so that they can make informed choices.

Protect Borrowers: AARP supports financial regulatory reform that protects older Americans from predatory lending practices such as excessive fees and penalties on mortgages to credit cards.

Customize Products: AARP is fighting to prohibit the financial industry (banking and investment) from selling products to consumers that cannot afford them.

Prevent Conflicts of Interest: AARP is fighting to prevent financial services companies from providing advice where they have a financial interest by urging Congress to pass the "Conflicted Investment Advice Prohibition Act of 2009."

Strengthen Enforcement: AARP is fighting for legislation that would strengthen federal regulatory authority while preserving states’ authority to enact stronger remedies.

Protect Homeowners: AARP is fighting to strengthen consumer protections and disclosure standards for older homeowners seeking Home Equity Conversion Mortgages and all other reverse mortgage borrowers.    

Providing Relief for Workers and Families: AARP continues to call on Congress to extend critical financial and health insurance support provided under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. Older workers are more likely to be out of a job longer than younger workers, and they depend on COBRA more than younger workers because they are often denied affordable care based on age or pre-existing conditions. Without COBRA, older Americans who are unemployed are more likely to go without insurance or rapidly deplete their UI benefits and become more dependent on other forms of government assistance, such as food stamps.

Relief for States Helps Families: AARP is also fighting to extend the federal match rate for Medicaid and increase and extend federal relief for state and local governments so workers, children, and families can get the health care and other services they need.

Preventing Age Discrimination: AARP is fighting to protect older workers from workplace discrimination or from being denied access to extra help because of their age.

Protect Older Workers: AARP is fighting for passage of the "Protecting Older Workers Against Discrimination Act," which would restore protections reduced by court decisions that require older Americans to meet a higher standard to prove illegal age bias claims than other claims for unfair discrimination at work, such as discrimination based on race or sex.

Provide Tax Relief for Older Workers: AARP is fighting to extend the earned income tax credit (EITC) to workers over age 64, so older workers aren’t penalized for working into their retirement years.

Providing Transportation Choices: AARP is fighting to improve transportation and mobility options by calling on Congress to enact the following changes in federal transportation law:

Complete Streets: Require states and metropolitan planning organizations to adopt Complete Streets policies for federally funded projects. A complete street is safe, comfortable and convenient for travel by automobile, foot, bicycle and transit, regardless of age or ability.

Protect Older Drivers and Pedestrians: AARP is calling on Congress to support the "Older Driver and Pedestrian Safety and Roadway Enhancement Act of 2009," which would provide $500 million a year from the Highway Trust Fund to states to implement road improvements to improve safety at the most dangerous intersections.

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