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Without Action, Future Retirees Could See Major Benefits Cut, AARP Warns

Social Security is facing a major crisis as Baby Boomers retire at the rate of about 10,000 a day. (frankieleon/Flickr)
Social Security is facing a major crisis as Baby Boomers retire at the rate of about 10,000 a day. (frankieleon/Flickr)
August 22, 2016

BOISE, Idaho — Members of AARP Idaho said they want Congress and the President to act now to save Social Security benefits for future generations. More than 800,000 workers in Idaho are currently paying in to Social Security.

According to AARP's new report, if no action is taken, benefits would have to be reduced in 2034 - by up to 25 percent. Tom Trail, president of AARP Idaho, said the single source of income for one-quarter of Gem State seniors is Social Security. If they were faced with cuts today, they would suffer drastically.

"It would accelerate the poverty rate of many of them in this state,” Trail said. “And they would have to make some really hard decisions on how to get by to live."

According to Trail, retired families would lose $4,500 a year on average if cuts went into effect today. That would put nearly 13,000 Idaho retirees below the poverty line, the report said.

The biggest problem the Social Security Trust faces is a rapidly-aging population. As Baby Boomers retire, they no longer pay into the system, and at the same time, they begin relying on the benefits. Trail said the country adds 10,000 new retirees every day, making this a pressing issue for politicians, especially during an election year.

"This is a nonpartisan issue which affects everybody who is a participant in Social Security,” Trail said, "whether you're on the left or on the right."

AARP launched the "Take A Stand" campaign to bring attention to the Social Security system's impending shortfall, and to push both presidential and congressional candidates to come up with ideas to save it for future generations. The group is tracking the presidential candidates' plans on the 'Take A Stand' website.

Eric Tegethoff/Cynthia Howard, Public News Service - ID