Skip to comments.Senator to Propose Raising Retirement Age
Posted on 03/07/2005 9:24:05 AM PST by Cagey
WASHINGTON (AP) - A leading Republican senator is proposing to raise the Social Security retirement age from 67 to 68, while Democrats maintain their opposition to the president's plan to overhaul the retirement program with private investment accounts.
Nebraska Sen. Chuck Hagel's plan would raise the age that retirees could receive full benefits, beginning in 2023. "We are living longer," Hagel said Sunday on CBS'"Face the Nation.""So when you look at the total universe of this, I think that makes some sense to extend the age."
But some leading Democrats said they could not support Hagel's plan because he would pay for private accounts by borrowing and increasing the nation's deficit. Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, D-Mass., told ABC's "This Week" that would be "a great threat to seniors" because it would raise interest rates.
President Bush plans to travel across the country this week as part of his 60-day push to persuade a skeptical public to support personal retirement accounts. The president's plan would allow workers under age 55 to divert up to 4 percentage points of their Social Security taxes into private stock and bond investment accounts in exchange for lower guaranteed future benefits.
White House counselor Dan Bartlett said that while polls show most Americans don't like the idea, most of the opposition is coming from people over 55 who won't be affected by it. He said on "Fox News Sunday" that Bush will try to reassure those older Americans that their benefits won't change.
Bartlett said the White House wants to work with Democrats, but Democrats are vowing to fight unless the president is willing to change his plan to divert Social Security funds into private accounts.
"If the president takes privatization off, if he makes a commitment to the future of Social Security, we're ready to sit down on a bipartisan basis and put everything on the table," Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., said on NBC's "Meet the Press.""That's the only way to start a good-faith negotiation."
Democrats also object to the president's call for personal accounts because they would not make Social Security solvent. Treasury Secretary John Snow, appearing on ABC, maintained the personal accounts still must be part of the solution.
"They don't in and of themselves bring those lines together," he said. "But we'll never get a fair and equitable solution to the Social Security problem unless personal accounts are an integral part of the solution."
Hagel's plan, which he said is the first Social Security reform bill being introduced in the Senate this year, would allow workers 45 and younger to keep their guaranteed Social Security account, but set up a voluntary program of personal accounts that could supplement their retirement income.
"The president has not laid down a specific plan as to how he's going to get us to solvency," Hagel said. "I do that. It doesn't mean mine's best, but I do it."
Bartlett indicated the president may consider raising the amount of income that is taxed to fund Social Security above the current $90,000 per person. "He says the only thing that's off the table is raising the rate" at which income is taxed, Bartlett said on CNN's "Late Edition."
Also on Sunday, House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi said on Fox that because of Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan's support of personal accounts, some people "have seriously questioned the independence of the Fed." She declined to say whether she would describe Greenspan as a "political hack," as Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid did last week.
Other Democrats distanced themselves from Reid's comment. Sen. Joe Lieberman, D-Conn., said on CNN that Greenspan is "sometimes very mistaken," but he is an "above-average human." Durbin said he has disagreements with Greenspan, but that calling him a political hack "may have been slightly too strong."
That is the only thing I am completely against is raising the retirement age. What about people who do hard, manual labor? Something Congresspeople would not understand.
I plan on emailing my Senators concerning this matter.
I agree. I don't want to retire any later than I have to. I don't want to have to drag my butt to work at 70 years old! I think it should be optional. I want to enjoy my retirement and not be too old for it!
raise it to 70 and repeal the income cap...count every vote and tax every dollar...lol
So let's see here, the government says that the retirement age is 65 when you start working (and contributing) then gets to unilaterally change the deal? Hmmm.
Orwell nailed it in Animal Farm.
Does anyone know the potential availability of the private funds? Would they be available any time I deemed I was ready to retire or would I have to wait until this arbitrarily set government retirement age?
I know, no plan exists yet, but I have not seen this element discussed and curiousity is killing me!
OK, so lets come out and say it, shall we?
A MASSIVE CUT IN BENEFITS to current workers. And to add insult to injury, no personal ownership of benefits, just the assurance that they will keep raising the age limit so that I will never collect a benefit. This is insane, unjust and unfair to those of us who are contributing currently.
Now I will have to work harder and longer to pay for old people to enjoy benefits that I may never see myself. Workers everywhere should be outraged by this robbery. We need our own AARP to lobby these bozos.
When did it go up that high? I thought it was $67,000 about 6-7 years ago. They are already pusing that limit up much faster than inflation how it is.
If the politicians had kept their hands off Social Security, and not widened the rules as to who could collect so that the collectors would be beholden to the politicians at election time, the program wouldn't be in dire straits.
You know, it occurs to me that if folks here, one of the nation's most conservative, self-reliant collections of news junkies, can't be depended on to consider extending the retirement age one freaking year, then Social Security reform is doomed.
If you can't do manual labor at 68, go work at Wal-Mart for a year or two. It won't kill you. Or sit on your butt on your own savings.
For the life of me I can't figure out why my generation is going to be the only one to make any sacrifice at all. You decrepit old codgers are going to knock down any reform that might call for you to give up anything. My generation most likely won't even get our money back and you greedy old farts won't chip in a dime. Shame on you.
Unfortunately, the only way any kind of reform will make it out of Congress is if it is not completely what we would want. But, the question is, how many bones will be tossed to the Dems.
We simply can't pass a bill without at least some Dems voting for it.
I am 21, and by the time I retire, the retirement age will probably be 75-80 or something. Hell, I may die before being able to retire.
That is what they are counting on.
Is the retirement age strictly defined by the SS benefit eligibility age? Would my 401K not be accessible until I reach the arbitrary age set by the gov't?
I know, I should know the answers to these questions, but I don't.....If the two are tied, then I definitely need to reconsider my investment strategy!
You are right. I am 32 and am totally against them raising the retirement age. They have already raised it. Have some compassion for those who do hard, manual labor...I am assuming you do not.
The rest of the options I am willing to listen to and see where they lead us.
Raising the retirement age would greatly ease the SS burden, but according to some statistics, help some who tend to die off within 2 years of retirement...My dad is 75, and he is working Pizza Delivery and has for the past 7 years after 40 years of owning his own service station/automotive repair business. He is for raising the limit also!
When Social Security was started with retirement age of 65, most people died by the time they were 62.
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