Nav: Home

Experts devise social security innovations to meet more Americans' needs

September 12, 2018

Social Security can be enhanced to provide Americans greater protections against financial risk, according to proposals found in a new supplemental issue of the journal Public Policy & Aging Report from The Gerontological Society of America. The innovations suggested would improve Social Security's adequacy in response to three important trends in the U.S.: increased longevity; more workers with low lifetime earnings; and the increased number of adults who spend working years providing unpaid family caregiving or pursuing educational enhancement.

Titled "Innovative Approaches to Improve Social Security Adequacy in the 21st Century," the issue is centered around seven winning submissions from AARP's 2016 Social Security Innovation Challenge.

"Transformative policy solutions take time to develop, refine, and implement, and this is especially true for Social Security, given its size and importance," wrote Debra Whitman, PhD, executive vice president and chief public policy officer at AARP. "I am confident that the innovations in this supplement offer an important new resource for people who are committed to finding new ways to strengthen Social Security's solvency and adequacy."

AARP received an overwhelming number of responses to the challenge from thought leaders across the country. The finalists were chosen by an expert panel, including the directors of the retirement research centers at the University of Michigan, Boston College, and the National Bureau of Economic Research.

Each winning innovation was assessed for its impact on both solvency and adequacy using the Urban Institute's Dynamic Simulation of Income Model (DYNASIM), which simulated policy changes on various demographic groups through 2065. This allowed the authors to realize the impact of their proposals on different generations and population subgroups. The analysis also showed interactions between program rules and policy parameters, and allowed the authors to revise or better target their proposals.

To address increased longevity among many Americans, one of the proposals recommended giving people with the retirement saving the option of "catch-up" contributions to Social Security starting in middle age; two others highlighted the potential of incentives for people to delay claiming benefits. For Americans with low lifetime earnings, two of the suggested innovations would see beneficiaries receive benefits that bring them up to or above the poverty line. And for those dealing with caregiving or education issues, one proposal would offer Social Security credits for time spent caregiving, receiving unemployment benefits, or participating in job training; another proposes income support from Social Security while an individual goes to school full time for job training or higher education.

Whitman said she hopes that the seven innovations serve as a catalyst for more ideas.

"We want innovative Social Security options to keep emerging, so that this great foundation of American retirement security keeps delivering on its social insurance mission for American workers and retirees, both today and for generations to come," she wrote.
-end-
Public Policy & Aging Report is a publication of the National Academy on an Aging Society, the policy branch of The Gerontological Society of America (GSA). As the nation's oldest and largest interdisciplinary organization devoted to research, education, and practice in the field of aging, GSA's principal mission -- and that of its 5,500+ members -- is to advance the study of aging and disseminate information among scientists, decision makers, and the general public. GSA's structure also includes an educational branch, the Academy for Gerontology in Higher Education.

The Gerontological Society of America

Related Caregiving Articles:

Depression linked to physical health decline in cancer caregivers
A new report finds that symptoms of depression are the only significant predictor of caregivers' physical health decline.
Fathers' involvement may help prevent childhood obesity
Fathers are becoming more involved with raising children, but limited research has examined their association with childhood obesity.
Fatherhood factors influence how dads spend time with children
A father's resources, relationships, and parenting beliefs affect how he spends time with his children and financially provides for his family, finds a study led by NYU's Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development.
Study examines caregiving by family members, other unpaid individuals
Caregiving is a significant public health topic because it affects the health and well-being of both the older adult and his or her caregivers.
Abused caregivers have double chance of poor health
Nearly one in 20 middle-age women face a cumulative health impact from taking on care-giving roles after experiencing intimate partner violence according to research from the University of Queensland.
Caregivers of black stroke survivors spend more time; but report more positive outlook
Black stroke survivors were more likely to have a caregiver and received more hours of help per week.
How dads bond with toddlers: Brain scans link oxytocin to paternal nurturing
Fathers given boosts of the hormone oxytocin show increased activity in brain regions associated with reward and empathy when viewing photos of their toddlers, an Emory University study finds.
Older adults embracing 'living apart together'
A new phenomenon called 'Living Apart Together' (LAT) -- an intimate relationship without a shared residence -- is gaining popularity as an alternative form of commitment.
Helping pays off: People who care for others live longer
Older people who help and support others live longer. These are the findings of a study published in the journal 'Evolution and Human Behavior,' conducted by researchers from the University of Basel, Edith Cowan University, the University of Western Australia, the Humboldt University of Berlin, and the Max Planck Institute for Human Development in Berlin.
For some older Chinese-Americans, caring for grandkids can enhance well-being
'Caring for grandchildren can be a burden, a blessing, or both.

Related Caregiving Reading:

Cruising through Caregiving: Reducing the Stress of Caring for Your Loved One
by Jennifer L. FitzPatrick (Author)

Passages in Caregiving: Turning Chaos into Confidence
by Gail Sheehy (Author)

The Caregiving Season: Finding Grace to Honor Your Aging Parents
by Jane Daly (Author), Jim Daly (Foreword)

The Caregiving Wife's Handbook: Caring for Your Seriously Ill Husband, Caring for Yourself
by Diana B. Denholm (Author)

Caregiving: Hospice-Proven Techniques for Healing Body and Soul
by Douglas C. Smith (Author)

Workbook for Nursing Assisting: A Foundation in Caregiving, 4e
by Hartman Publishing (Author), Inc. (Author)

A Spirituality of Caregiving (Henri Nouwen Spirituality)
by Henri J.M. Nouwen (Author), John S Mogabgab (Editor)

Nursing Assisting: A Foundation in Caregiving, 4e
by Diana Dugan RN (Author)

Extreme Caregiving: The Moral Work of Raising Children with Special Needs
by Lisa Freitag (Author)

The Revised Fundamentals of Caregiving: A Novel
by Algonquin Books

Best Science Podcasts 2018

We have hand picked the best science podcasts for 2018. Sit back and enjoy new science podcasts updated daily from your favorite science news services and scientists.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Dying Well
Is there a way to talk about death candidly, without fear ... and even with humor? How can we best prepare for it with those we love? This hour, TED speakers explore the beauty of life ... and death. Guests include lawyer Jason Rosenthal, humorist Emily Levine, banker and travel blogger Michelle Knox, mortician Caitlin Doughty, and entrepreneur Lux Narayan.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#492 Flint Water Crisis
This week we dig into the Flint water crisis: what happened, how it got so bad, what turned the tide, what's still left to do, and the mix of science, politics, and activism that are still needed to finish pulling Flint out of the crisis. We spend the hour with Dr Mona Hanna-Attisha, a physician, scientist, activist, the founder and director of the Pediatric Public Health Initiative, and author of the book "What the Eyes Don't See: A Story of Crisis, Resistance, and Hope in an American City".