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Strengthen Social Security

Social Security has remained strong over its 85-year history largely because of its dedicated funding, vigorous support from the American people and the commitment of elected officials to work together in order to make the changes needed to secure its financial future.

Currently, 45 million retired workers and 3.1 million dependents receive Social Security benefits, which represent the largest source of income for most beneficiaries. One out of every 4 households rely on Social Security for 90 percent or more of their income. Social Security also covers about 6 million survivors of deceased workers and 10 million employees with disabilities and their dependents. Social Security monthly benefits average about $1,500 for retired workers and $1,258 for those with disabilities.

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Challenges ahead

According to the most recent Social Security Trustees report, Social Security is projected to be able to pay full benefits for just over 15 years — until 2035. At that point, while projected to run a funding shortfall, the program will still be able to pay 79 percent of its current benefits. Congress and the White House need to take action to ensure full benefits can continue to be paid after 2035.

AARP guiding principles

As you consider a candidate, keep in mind AARP's priorities for the Social Security program:

  • Achieving long-term security and solvency: Social Security should be protected not only for current retirees but for future generations of Americans.
  • Ensuring protections for those most in need: Any reforms should guarantee adequate benefits for those most reliant on Social Security and those who would have trouble postponing retirement.
  • Recognizing the value of Social Security's core elements: Social Security provides benefits that Americans earn through their working lives, and the program should be financed to ensure long-term adequacy and solvency.

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