PNS National Newscast

Audio Activation
"Siri, play the Public News Service (podcast)"
"Hey Google, play the Public News Service podcast"
"Alexa, play Public News Service podcast"
or "Alexa, what's my news flash?" once you set it up in the Alexa app

2020Talks

Audio Activation
"Siri, play the 2020Talks podcast"
"Hey Google, play the 2020Talks podcast"
"Alexa, play Two-Thousand-Twenty Talks podcast"
or "Alexa, what's my news flash?" once you set it up in the Alexa app

Newscasts

PNS Daily Newscast - October 19, 2920 


Trailing Biden in Nevada, Trump holds a jam-packed Carson City rally. And with COVID a major election issue, hospitals help patients register to vote.


2020Talks - October 19, 2020 


Litigation is ongoing on ballot receipt deadlines, witness signatures and drop boxes. And early voting starts in a dozen states this week.

Report: Social Security More Crucial Than Ever During Pandemic

Nearly 75% of Americans in the latest AARP survey are worried that Social Security will run out of money by the time they retire. (Adobe Stock)
Nearly 75% of Americans in the latest AARP survey are worried that Social Security will run out of money by the time they retire. (Adobe Stock)
September 2, 2020

RICHMOND, Va. -- As the Trump administration threatens to reduce the payroll tax that's a primary funding source for Social Security, a new report shows a majority of Americans believe the program is more vital than ever in the pandemic.

More than 1 million Virginians receive Social Security benefits, and the AARP report found that 96% of those surveyed called it "essential" and said it needs to continue.

David Debiasi, AARP Virginia associate state director, said more retirees already were struggling to pay for health care and other basic needs before the COVID-19 crisis -- and the pandemic exacerbates that struggle.

"A lot of people are very sensitive to this kind of economic shock," he said. "A recession or a bad economy, or even a health-care experience, could wipe them out financially. So, it's understandable that this program is even more valued during a difficult time."

In the survey, 99% of Democrats, 93% of Republicans and 92% of independents said they see Social Security as an "important" government program. It turned 85 last month and has been the main financial support for many retirees since the Great Depression.

About 85% of Virginians rely on Social Security for almost all their income, DeBiasi said. However, the report also revealed that nearly three-quarters of Americans are concerned about its future and think it might not provide enough to live on during retirement.

"They are truly worried about it," he said, "both that it will be solvent for them and then, there's also some concern that the amount, which now averages $1,503 a month, is too low. That's less than $20,000 a year."

Nearly two in five Americans said they either already rely on Social Security for a substantial portion of their retirement income or will in the future, DeBiasi said. AARP is asking lawmakers to protect and strengthen the program.

The report is online at aarp.org.

Disclosure: AARP Virginia contributes to our fund for reporting on Budget Policy & Priorities, Health Issues, Hunger/Food/Nutrition, Senior Issues. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.
Diane Bernard, Public News Service - VA