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Candidates Called on to Address Social Security

Missourians are being encouraged to press the presidential candidates to talk about their plans for social security. (aarp.org)
Missourians are being encouraged to press the presidential candidates to talk about their plans for social security. (aarp.org)
October 11, 2016

ST. LOUIS – Most who watched the second presidential debate at Washington University will likely agree there was more jabbing and political rhetoric than substance. Advocates are hoping the third and final debate will turn out differently.

Nancy LeaMond, executive vice president and chief advocacy and engagement officer for AARP, said if the nation's leaders don't act, future retirees could face an automatic benefit cut of nearly 25 percent every year, after 2034.

According to LeaMond, that translates to about $4.6 billion less in the pockets of Missouri residents and could mean about $8.4 billion less in economic activity and more than 50,000 fewer jobs in Missouri.

"This is a lifeline program for people over the age of 65," she said. "It's one of the top issues voters of all ages say the candidates should be addressing and we think it's important to have that discussion before people go to the polls."

LeaMond encouraged people to visit the website TakeAStand.org to get a message to the moderators of the next debate, and request that the candidates be asked about their plans for Social Security.

LeaMond said about two-thirds of people over the age of 65 rely on Social Security for most or all of their income.

"We know, given that private-sector pensions have declined, people aren't saving quite as much as they used to," she added. "Social Security will be even more important for future generations."

Currently, 3.1 million Missourians are paying into Social Security. AARP said a cut in benefits today would translate to an additional 52,000 people living in poverty in the state.

Veronica Carter, Public News Service - MO