A growing and lethal crisis faces millions of workers and retirees. The iconic “three-legged stool” of retirement security—pensions, savings and Social Security—has lost two legs. The remaining leg, Social Security, is an essential safety net for tens of millions. At this moment, during a time of massive job loss and uncertainty when it is needed more than ever, it is beginning to be attacked as a budget-busting benefit. The national numbers tell a frightening story:
- Fewer than 15% of private sector workers have defined benefit pensions
- 50% of workers 50-64 have less than $14,000 in savings
- Social Security pays an average of $1,503 a month–half the income of 50 percent of seniors and 90 percent of total income for 1 in 4
Respectful Exits is a collaboration of aging workers and age-inclusive employers committed to transforming work and retirement in an era of increased longevity. From our different perspectives—prospective and current recipients, employers large and small, office holders and office seekers—we share the same message: Social Security must be preserved and strengthened. Future cuts should not be on any political candidate’s policy agenda in 2020. They would be devastating to individuals, families, communities, and the consumer economy.
We, the undersigned, commit ourselves and ask all current public office seekers and office holders to make and seek support for this simple pledge: