Issues: Social Security

Social Security: AARP Public Policy Institute


The AARP Public Policy Institute focuses on issues of critical importance as we age. Below we highlight research, analysis, background and commentary on Social Security.



In 2016, AARP launched its Innovation Challenge to identify policy solutions to strengthen Social Security. AARP received an overwhelming number of responses to the Challenge from thought leaders across the country. We are pleased to announce the policy innovations selected for further development and financial support. Click here for more information





Social Security: A Key Retirement Income Source for Older Minorities

Social Security is the primary source of retirement income for older minorities with nearly one third of older African-Americans and Hispanics relying on it for more than 90 percent of the income that their families receive. Social Security also keeps approximately 30 percent of older African-Americans and Hispanics and 20 percent of older Asians out of poverty, although high poverty rates persist among these groups. Read


People Aged 65 and Older Who Rely on Social Security for 90% of Family Income (in 2013) and Average Monthly Benefit (December, 2014) by State

Social Security benefits are a key income source for older Americans. For many, these benefits are the only source of retirement income guaranteed for life. These benefits provide seniors with the foundation of income and security that they need in retirement, having contributed to the program for years while working. In today’s challenging economy—including rising health care costs and reductions in retirement saving—Social Security is more vital than ever. Read


Social Security: Who's Counting on It?

About 59 million people received a Social Security benefit in 2014. Read


Social Security Keeps Americans of All Ages Out of Poverty: State-Level Estimates, 2011-2013

Social Security benefits are a lifeline for many Americans, keeping them and their families out of poverty. Read


Social Security Disability Benefits: A Lifeline for Workers with Disabilities

Social Secruity keeps two out of every 5 people receiving Disability Benefits out of poverty. Read


Social Security: A Key Retirement Resource for Women
Social Security keeps one out of three older women out of poverty. Read


Social Security: Who’s Counting on It?

Social Security provides retirement income for older Americans, and protects workers of all ages and their families against the risks of death and disability. Read


Social Security Keeps Americans of All Ages Out of Poverty
The Social Security program provides a guaranteed lifetime stream of retirement income that keeps pace with inflation. Read


Social Security Is a Critical Income Source for Older Americans — State Estimates
More than 10 million older Americans depend on Social Security for the majority of their income. Read


Chained CPI Targets Oldest, Poorest Americans
Using a “chained” price index for Social Security cost of living adjustments would cut benefits for those least able to afford it. Read





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