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Social Security Report: Time's “On the Side” of 250,000 in NH

June 5, 2013

CONCORD, N.H. - The Social Security Trust Fund just issued its required annual report, and local advocates say it contains good news for hundreds of thousands in the Granite State - and not just older folks.

The report indicates there is plenty of time - at least 20 years - to figure out ways to keep Social Security solvent, said Stephen Gorin, executive director of the New Hampshire chapter of the National Association of Social Workers.

"I think that's good news for the roughly quarter of a million New Hampshire residents," Gorin said. "And those aren't all older adults - something like 20,000 young people rely on Social Security in New Hampshire."

Younger Granite Staters qualify for Social Security if their parents die prematurely, said Gorin, outgoing chairman of the New Hampshire Committee on the Aging.

President Obama said he would be OK with limiting benefit increases based on the cost-of-living index, but Gorin said such measures are not needed because the deficit already is being reduced at the fastest rate in 50 years.

As national leaders, plan ahead, said Nancy Altman, co-chair of the Strengthen Social Security Coalition, they must take the recession into account and the impact it had on older Americans' ability to save or retire. Reducing benefits is out of the question, she said, and her group suggests exactly the opposite.

"That we expand Social Security, in light of what's happened to private pensions and home equity," she said. "The Social Security we see as the solution to a looming retirement income crisis."

A similar annual report just issued for Medicare shows an improving picture, Altman said, with the trust fund now solvent an extra two years, until 2026.

Mike Clifford, Public News Service - NH