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Advocates Say 2016 Election Critical for Saving Social Security

Without action, advocates say, Social Security benefits will be cut by 25 percent in 2034. (
Without action, advocates say, Social Security benefits will be cut by 25 percent in 2034. (
November 3, 2016

HARTFORD, Conn. – Social Security is in trouble, advocates for the government trust fund say, and the winners in this year's election could determine the fate of retirees in years to come.

Supporters of Social Security say that if nothing is done, in 2034 benefits will be cut by 25 percent, or about $10,000 a year.

John Erlingheuser, advocacy director for AARP in Connecticut, says AARP has launched a website to help voters find out what Connecticut's candidates for the House and Senate plan to do to keep that from happening.

"It will tell whether or not the candidates have committed to taking action on Social Security in the next term and take a leadership role in making Social Security a top priority in 2017," he explains.

The web site – Are You Ready to Vote? – can be found at AARP Connecticut's state page.

According to Erlingheuser, the candidates for all five congressional districts and one Senate seat up for election in Connecticut this year have taken stands on Social Security. And using the website gives voters the information they need to make an informed decision.

"Many of the candidates have linked up what their proposals are to the website, so if the candidate has a specific plan they can see that plan through our website," Erlingheuser points out.

The website also links to personalized voting, ballot and polling place information that can be accessed by entering a home address.

The projected shortfall in Social Security would not affect those currently receiving benefits. But Erlingheuser says it's critical to plan for the future of the entire system.

"It is important for the children and the grandchildren and it's important that we address it now so that the security in Social Security will be there for them as well past 2034," he stresses.

Andrea Sears, Public News Service - CT