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Social Security Plays an Important Role in Alaska

Social Security plays an important role for Alaskans throughout the State. For 75 years, Social Security has provided a guaranteed inflation-protected retirement benefit Americans can count on. We need to strengthen Social Security so future generations will continue to have a strong foundation of income they can count on for their retirement.

See Also: Keep Social Security Strong – Congress shouldn't make dangerous cuts

Social Security is really a family protection plan. In Anchorage, for example, of the more than 28,000 Social Security checks received each month, 38% of them go to children, surviving spouses, and people with disabilities under age 65.
In most states, eight percent of all Social Security recipients are children. According to the Social Security Administration, OASDI Beneficiaries by State and County, in Alaska, however, almost 12 percent of Social Security recipients are children.

On average, 36% of all Social Security checks received in any one Census area in the state of Alaska are received by a child, a surviving spouse or a disabled worker under the age of 65. Ann Secrest of the AARP Alaska State Office developed a series of Social Security profiles for each Census area of the state. The Alaska series of Social Security profiles by Census areas is for available at no charge for the asking. Contact Ann Secrest via email to asecrest@aarp.org or toll free at 866-227-7447.

Five Things You Need to Know about Social Security

1. Americans earn and pay for Social Security’s guaranteed retirement benefits by making contributions out of every paycheck throughout their working lives. The average retirement benefit is $1,168 per month and is adjusted annually to keep pace with inflation. In addition to providing benefits to retirees, Social Security also protects workers who become disabled on the job and the families of workers who die. Among seniors, 20% of married couples and about 41% of singles rely on Social Security for 90% or more of their income.

2. Social Security’s guaranteed benefits are a rock solid commitment to American families. Companies can go out of business. Pensions can be terminated. The stock market can take a nose dive. Social Security benefits are there in good times and bad.

3. An average worker’s Social Security retirement benefit will only replace about $4 out of every $10 they earned while working. Social Security was never designed to be a worker’s sole source of income in retirement. Ideally, Social Security is a foundation that is strengthened when accompanied by a pension and private savings.

4. Social Security has been running a surplus and has not contributed one dime to our nation’s current deficit. While some in Washington want to reduce Social Security benefits for deficit reduction, Social Security surpluses have been masking the true size of the federal deficit for decades. Even in the midst of the current economic crisis, the current $2.5 trillion Social Security Trust Fund continues to grow and is projected to reach $4.3 trillion by 2023.

5. Currently, Social Security can pay full benefits for the next 25 years, and we can strengthen Social Security to ensure it will be there for our children and grandchildren with only “modest changes”. Some people in Washington who want to make big changes to Social Security say it is “going broke”. Fact is, even with no changes, Social Security can pay out full benefits until 2037 and nearly three-quarters of promised benefits after that.

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