Last updated on: 5/6/2010 | Author: ProCon.org

AARP (American Association of Retired Persons) Biography

Position:
Con to the question "Should Social Security Be Privatized?"
Reasoning:

“AARP strongly opposes these proposals [to divert Social Security payroll taxes to private accounts]. Private accounts in place of Social Security are risky, expensive to administer, and require huge increases in the federal debt. AARP believes there are better and more responsible ways to strengthen the system.

To compensate for the loss of Social Security revenue sent into
private accounts, the federal government would have to borrow significant sums for the next several decades in order to continue to pay promised benefits to currently retiring beneficiaries. One prominent proposal would require $1 billion in the first 10 years the private accounts were in place. Then, $3.5 trillion would be needed in the following decade. Younger workers would have to bear much of the burden for paying this debt. That’s not right, and it’s not fair to them.

Social Security is an insurance program, not an investment program. The essence of Social Security is that it has always been risk-free for all of us. It’s also inflation-proof – something neither investments, nor even many pensions, can guarantee. Private accounts within Social Security would add a large measure of personal risk. AARP has publicly stated many times that there are places in retirement planning that are appropriate for taking risks, such as 401(k) plans, Individual Retirement Accounts, and mutual funds, but they should be in addition to the guarantee of Social Security.”

Email sent to ProCon.org from John Rother, Executive Vice President of Policy and Strategy at the AARP, on Apr. 28, 2010

[Editor’s Note: The AARP also made this Con statement in a Dec. 9, 2004 AARP Bulletin Today article below.]

“Taking some of the money that workers pay into the system and diverting it into newly created private accounts would weaken Social Security and put benefits for future generations at risk.

AARP is opposed to private accounts that take money out of Social Security.

In addition, private accounts are expensive. Just to switch to this new system could require as much as $2 trillion or more in benefit cuts, new taxes, or more debt. Most of us would then have to pay twice to gamble on this new plan – first to keep our commitments to current retirees and again to pay into these private accounts.”

“Social Security: Where We Stand,” AARP Bulletin Today, Dec. 9, 2004

Theoretical Expertise Ranking:
Organizations/VIPS/Others
Individuals and organizations that do not fit into the other star categories.
Description:

“Founded in 1958, AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan membership organization that helps people 50 and over improve the quality of their lives.

AARP has grown to 40 million members and has offices in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

As the nation’s largest membership organization for people 50+, AARP is leading a revolution in the way people view and live life after 50.”

“About AARP,” aarp.org (accessed Apr. 23, 2010)

Mission:

“AARP’s mission is to enhance the quality of life for all as we age, leading positive social change and delivering value to members through information, advocacy and service.

We believe strongly in the principles of collective purpose, collective voice, and collective purchasing power, and these principles guide all organization efforts.

AARP works tirelessly to fulfill its vision: a society in which everyone ages with dignity and purpose, and in which AARP helps people fulfill their goals and dreams.”

“About AARP,” aarp.org (accessed Apr. 23, 2010)

Other:
Nonprofit, nonpartisan membership organization
Quoted in:
Pro & Con Quotes: Should Social Security Be Privatized?