Obamacare Offers New Protections for LGBTQ Americans

LGBTQ week of actionAs we celebrate LGBTQ Enrollment Week of Action, millions of Americans—including many LGBTQ people—are already covered by health insurance thanks to the Affordable Care Act. And millions more can get covered before January 31, 2017.

For many in the LGBTQ community, access to health care might not seem like much of a priority. But health is an LGBTQ equality issue. Why? Because the LGBTQ community faces health disparities in areas like obesity, smoking, cancer screening, and HIV. LGBTQ people are disproportionately likely to be uninsured and to face discrimination by health care providers when in need of care. Continue reading

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Our Commitment Goes Beyond Our Services

fedfeeds32Social Security is here to help secure today and tomorrow with financial benefits, information, and tools that provide a level of economic security throughout life’s journey. This commitment goes beyond the services we render.

Through our work in serving the public, we know first-hand the challenges that many members of the community face. Every year, Social Security employees participate in the Combined Federal Campaign (CFC). The CFC promotes and supports charities and non-profit organizations by making it easy for federal employees to contribute personally and thus improve the quality of life for many. Continue reading

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A Secure Retirement for All

perez-guest-blog-picHaving a secure retirement is an important pillar of strength for the middle class in America. Yet, it is unavailable to too many workers in our country. During Hispanic Heritage Month, we’re acutely aware of the particular challenges faced by middle class Latinos in the workforce. Not only do Latinos face wage disparities, they’re also less likely to have access to retirement savings plans. Research shows that only about a third of Latino workers have access to a retirement plan through their employer, compared to more than half of African-American and white workers. Continue reading

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Why Social Security is Important to Latinos

ssa-latinosFew things are more important to a secure and dignified retirement than Social Security. It plays a large role in the economic well-being of Latinos. According to the President’s Council of Economic Advisers, Latino and African American households have significantly less in retirement savings than white households, and about half of elderly Latinos receive more than 90 percent of their income from Social Security.

President Obama has pressed consistently to ensure that Latinos, and all Americans, recover from the lingering economic depression so that they can have a strong foundation for retirement. At the 2015 White House Conference on Aging, he pointed out in his remarks that every budget request submitted to Congress has included a proposal to automatically enroll workers without access to a workplace retirement plan in an IRA. Soon after that, the U.S. Department of the Treasury launched myRA, a simple, safe, and affordable new savings option for those who don’t have access to a retirement savings plan at work.

Regardless of the efforts of President Obama and others, the responsibility to save for retirement is on each of us. Social Security offers a basic level of protection, but it was never meant to be the only source of post-retirement income. Unfortunately, only 27 percent of Latinos between the ages of 21 and 63 participate in an employment-based retirement plan.

Our retirement security depends on us making a commitment to put money away, particularly at the beginning of our careers. A 25-year-old who begins saving $100 a month and earns five percent interest will have more than $150,000 at the age of 65.

During Hispanic Heritage Month, one of the things we can celebrate is the economic progress of Latinos in this country. The latest Census data states that in 2015 Latinos saw the fastest growth in median household income and access to health insurance coverage and the largest declines in poverty rates. To continue that progress, we must also think about how we create safe and secure retirements for ourselves and for our families. President Obama has said, “If you’ve worked hard all your life, you deserve a secure retirement.” Social Security does its part in securing your today and tomorrow, but this means we should do our part and take advantage of the opportunities that allow us to save to make sure we have a dignified retirement.

About Julie Chavez Rodriguez, Special Assistant to the President & Senior Deputy Director of Public Engagement

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Social Security Funded Until 2034, and About Three-Quarters Funded for the Long Term; Many Options to Address the Long-Term Shortfall

Trustee's ReportThe Social Security Board of Trustees today released its 76th annual report to Congress on the financial status of the Social Security trust funds.  As a trustee of Social Security funds, I work with the other trustees to ensure the public is informed about the status of Social Security’s finances for the short term and over the next 75 years.

Workers earn their Social Security benefits by contributing through deductions from their paychecks. The Social Security trust funds include the Old Age and Survivors Insurance (OASI) fund, which pays benefits to retired workers and their families and to the families of deceased workers; and the Disability Insurance (DI) fund, which pays benefits to disabled workers and their families. Continue reading

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