Low-In­come Amer­i­cans are Dy­ing Young and Los­ing Out on Earned So­cial Se­cu­rity Ben­e­fits, GAO Finds

Stanstead Journal - - NEWS - Wash­ing­ton, DC

Low-in­come Amer­i­cans are dy­ing younger than their higher-in­come peers and are los­ing out on earned So­cial Se­cu­rity ben­e­fits, ac­cord­ing to a new study pre­pared for Sen. Bernie San­ders by the Gov­ern­ment Ac­count­abil­ity Of­fice.

As a re­sult of grow­ing dis­par­i­ties in life ex­pectancy be­tween the rich and poor, the pro­gres­sive ef­fect of So­cial Se­cu­rity is erod­ing. Amer­i­can men mak­ing about $20,000 a year are ex­pected to lose 11-14 per­cent of their life­time So­cial Se­cu­rity ben­e­fits, ac­cord­ing to the re­port. In con­trast, men mak­ing about $80,000 a year are ex­pected to see their ben­e­fits in­crease as much as 16-18 per­cent due to their longer life ex­pectancy.

Rais­ing the So­cial Se­cu­rity re­tire­ment age would re­sult in even fewer ben­e­fits for low­er­in­come groups, the study found. Lower-in­come men are liv­ing be­tween 4 and 13 fewer years than higher-in­come men, and lower-in­come women are liv­ing be­tween 2 and 14 fewer years than higher-in­come women.

“Poverty should not be a death sen­tence,” San­ders, the rank­ing mem­ber on the Pri­mary Health and Re­tire­ment Se­cu­rity Sub­com­mit­tee, said. “When over half of older work­ers have no re­tire­ment sav­ings, we need to ex­pand, not cut, So­cial Se­cu­rity so that ev­ery Amer­i­can can re­tire with the ben­e­fits they’ve earned and the dig­nity they de­serve.”

The wealth­i­est Amer­i­cans are not only liv­ing longer and col­lect­ing more in So­cial Se­cu­rity ben­e­fits, they are also con­tribut­ing less of their in­come to­ward So­cial Se­cu­rity. Al­most all of the in­come gains over the past three decades have gone to those earn­ing

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