Labor Voices: Social Security is Vital for Everyone

In 2019, more 63 million people in the United States collected Social Security benefits.

That equals more than one in every six residents. Older Americans make up about four out of every five beneficiaries, however another one out of every five Social Security beneficiaries receive Disability Insurance (SSDI) or are often young survivors of deceased workers.

For most Americans, we work all of our lives for a foundation of retirement to enjoy in their older years; people who can no longer work; or children who need support as they begin their lives.

Because of that, Social Security insurance must remain viable, healthy and intact to give everyone a foundation for productive, healthy lives.

For decades, the UAW has advocated for Social Security for all working Americans. We have fought for the end-of-career security earned for our brothers and sisters both at the bargaining table and in the halls of Congress, working to define pension plans, Social Security and long-term lifelines for tens of millions of American seniors.

For the majority of America’s elderly, Social Security provides income that they have worked diligently to secure. For about one in four seniors, it provides at least 90% of income, making it the only thing keeping many seniors out of poverty. Social Security is a self-sustaining program. As it stands, if Congress does nothing, Social Security will be solvent until at least 2037. Modest changes, such as simply raising the cap on wages, affecting only high-income earners making over $132,900, would stabilize the fund for decades after 2037. The program needs common-sense solutions that can ensure that it will be solvent for much longer.

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