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Social Security Milestone Birthday Today

 On the 80th anniversary of Social Security today, a new survey shows 80 percent of adults either rely on it now for retirement, or plan to. Credit: Pixabay.com.
On the 80th anniversary of Social Security today, a new survey shows 80 percent of adults either rely on it now for retirement, or plan to. Credit: Pixabay.com.
August 14, 2015

BOISE, Idaho - The 80th birthday of Social Security is today, and a new AARP survey shows that 80 percent of adults rely on, or plan to rely on, Social Security as a source of retirement income.

AARP Idaho state president Tom Trail said it's not surprising, and it's tied to equally strong views on the importance of being able to live independently for as long as possible. Trail pointed to a closer look at Idaho statistics that show more than 300,000 families receive Social Security, and for 50 percent of retirees it's 75 percent of their income.

"It remains a core part of retirement security," he said. "and remains popular across generations and political ideologies."

The survey found that younger adults have less confidence in the future of the program but still think it is valuable. Nine in 10 younger than age 30 say it's an important program and nearly as many want a guarantee to know it will be there when they retire.

Along with the birthday attention, Trail noted that the program is a popular topic on the political campaign trail. He said he's dismayed by the way the program often is characterized as an entitlement.

"It is an earned benefit that retirees have paid into," he said. "It's not entitlement. It's been paid for by our retirees across the years."

Another survey finding reflected the difficulty in saving for retirement. Nearly 70 percent said they just don't have enough extra income to put towards retirement programs.

The AARP survey is online at aarp.org.

Deborah Courson Smith/Deb Courson Smith, Public News Service - ID