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Retirement Security for All

International Executive Board, 2012

WHEREAS:

There is a full scale assault on the retirement security of all working Americans.  Attacks on traditional pensions in both the public and private sectors, combined with the ineffectiveness of the defined contribution retirement systems, have created a retirement security crisis.  Most of the 76 million baby boomers will face retirement with fewer assets than previous generations had, and many will be forced to keep working in their retirement years to stay out of poverty; and

WHEREAS:

Taking into account all sources of income, it is estimated that the gap between what working Americans need to maintain their standard of living in retirement and what they actually have is $6.6 trillion. The median household headed by a person aged 60 to 62 with a 401(k) account has less than one-quarter of what is needed in that account to maintain its standard of living in retirement; and

WHEREAS:

Social Security is the foundation for secure retirement for the vast majority of Americans.  For those public workers excluded from Social Security, a secure and adequate defined benefit pension plan is necessary to provide for adequate economic security in retirement.  Yet both pensions and Social Security are under attack.  While Social Security is an obvious solution to the retirement crisis, its current benefit levels are too modest.  Social Security’s income replacement rate is one of the lowest of all the industrialized countries.  To compensate for the decline of traditional pensions and the loss of retirement savings, Social Security retirement benefits must be increased across the board.  In addition, Social Security COLAs need to take into account the higher health care costs faced by seniors; and

WHEREAS:

America must either improve Social Security benefits or create a supplemental retirement system that is universal, secure and adequate.

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED:

AFSCME shall work with the AFL-CIO and other organizations in an effort to develop a universal, secure and adequate retirement system; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED:

That AFSCME shall call on the National AFL-CIO to convene a retirement summit among affiliated unions, leading economists, and national retirement security experts in order to develop effective retirement security policies and to develop a retirement security campaign.