WNYLaborToday.com Editor’s Note: Bill Pienta (pictured above) is the retired Director of United Steelworkers (USW) District 4. He presently serves as president of SOAR, the Steelworkers Organization of Active Retirees.
I’m sick of listening to Politicians and Retirement Planners, as well as the AARP (American Association of Retired People), maintaining a position that people should keep working and delay collecting Social Security until age 70 to increase their Retirement Benefit.
I’m also tired of hearing Politicians who’ve announced their candidacy for President of the United States who claim we need to reduce benefits to preserve Social Security.
Now I’m sure there are exceptions to every situation, but can you imagine a Country of 70-year-old people in the workforce?
Sure - there are jobs you can work at until you die, but how many people can perform their jobs if they’re working in a Paper Mill or Steel Mill at 70?
Thirty-five or 40 years on those jobs wear the body out and I would not want a 70-year-old Policeman or Fireman answering my distress call.
Many jobs do not allow us to physically perform them in later years. For example, working in a coal mine or working as an Ironworker at 70 would be extremely difficult for most.
Millions of people also have jobs that limit their physical abilities to perform them in the later years, so working longer is not an option for many.
However, increasing the cut-off for Social Security contributions from wages is an option.
According to IRS figures, approximately 14 million people did not pay Social Security tax on a portion of their income because their income exceeded the maximum level for deductions.
Therefore, eliminating the cap on earnings would produce significant income to the fund and increasing the Minimum Wage for millions of Workers would also generate revenue for the fund.
So - why can’t our elected Representatives pass some kind of Pro-Worker Legislation to encourage Unionization instead of Right-To-Work - for less - Laws?
I think that might help increase wages – which would also result in an increase in revenue to the fund.
I believe it’s criminal to say that an average Social Security Benefit of $1,331 needs to be reduced.
No - it needs to be increased and I’ve suggested how it can be paid for.
Now, all we need are the right people elected to office and have them start paying attention to us - instead of big corporations.