Social Security has remained strong over its 83-year history largely because of its dedicated financing and the commitment of past congresses and presidents to work together to make the changes needed to secure its financial future.
AARP has been fighting for 60 years — and will continue to lead the charge — to keep Social Security viable for current and future generations. When the president proposed turning Social Security into private accounts in 2005, AARP mobilized the power of millions of its members to defeat that harmful plan. In 2010 and again in 2013, after the president’s deficit commission recommended cutting the cost of living adjustment (COLA), AARP fought and won.
While the program remains secure today, it needs modest changes to ensure that future generations will get the benefits they’ve earned. Currently, Social Security can pay full benefits for just over 15 years. But if nothing is done to make the program financially sound for the long term, benefits will be cut by about 25 percent in 2034, according to the latest Social Security Board of Trustees report.
In addition, Social Security must be updated to meet changing realities. Life expectancy is increasing, people are having fewer children and there are more women in the workforce than when the program was created. Policymakers also need to be aware that current benefit levels are modest and that people rely heavily on their Social Security benefits. In addition, the retirement landscape has changed, with fewer people guaranteed pensions.