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AARP Delivers 10,400+ Petitions to Schumer, Long to ‘Take A Stand,’ Commit to Update Social Security

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Above, AARP NY staff and volunteers outside Senator Schumer's campaign office; right, AARP's Joe Stelling delivers petitions to Long at the New York Republican State Committee offices



Social Security Faces Nearly 25% Benefits Cut by 2034 Without Action

NEW YORK, N.Y. – AARP delivered over 10,400 petitions to U.S. Senator Charles Schumer of New York and his Republican challenger, Wendy

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Long, this week urging each to commit to working with the new Congress and presidential administration to update Social Security for the 21 st Century if elected.

AARP Associate State Director Chris Widelo, accompanied by AARP volunteers, presented the petitions signed by residents across New York to a Schumer campaign aide at 3 p.m. November 2 at the Senator’s campaign office at 192 Lexington Avenue in Manhattan; by the next day, another 1,100 petitions had been signed, bringing the total to 11,500. AARP delivered all petitions to Long at the New York Republican State Committee headquarters in Albany November 3 and a set of the additional 1,100 will be delivered to Schumer.

AARP, the social mission organization for the 50+, counts 2.6 million members across New York – where there are over 3.5 million Social Security recipients.

Social Security will be forced to cut benefits by nearly 25% in 2034 without action to update the program. That could cost some New Yorkers as much as $10,000 a year, and about $4,200 on average for Social Security recipients in New York annually.

A recent statewide AARP NY/Siena College survey found 57% of New York Generation Xers said they’re not confident they’ll receive promised Social Security benefits and 82% of Gen Xers and Baby Boomers combined call the likelihood that Social Security will remain available for future generations a significant problem.

AARP is conducting a nationwide “ Take A Stand” campaign pushing the presidential candidates to detail their positions on updating Social Security and congressional candidates to commit to working toward that goal next year. The petition deliveries are part of the campaign.

"Doing nothing on Social Security is not an option,” said AARP’s Widelo. “We need all candidates for Congress to pledge that they will work with whoever the new president is to make sure Americans do not lose the benefits they have earned during their entire working lives. Working New Yorkers pay into Social Security with every paycheck; they should be assured of receiving the full benefits they’re being promised.”

Candidates Long and Schumer, a three-term incumbent seeking a fourth six-year term, squared off in their lone debate this past Sunday night in Schenectady, but Social Security did not come up once during the forum sponsored and televised by Time Warner Cable news.

“Nearly all New York residents age 65 or older receive Social Security,” Widelo added. “43 percent of New York retirees would have income below the poverty line if it wasn’t for Social Security.”

Next year is the ideal window for action. The first year of a new presidential administration is historically the most productive, and if the next president serves eight years without action there will be less than a decade before the cuts take effect - and options for averting reductions would become much more difficult and painful.

Contact: Erik Kriss, ekriss@aarp.org

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AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization, with a membership of more than 37 million, that helps people turn their goals and dreams into real possibilities, strengthens communities and fights for the issues that matter most to families such as healthcare, employment and income security, retirement planning, affordable utilities and protection from financial abuse. We advocate for individuals in the marketplace by selecting products and services of high quality and value to carry the AARP name as well as help our members obtain discounts on a wide range of products, travel, and services.  A trusted source for lifestyle tips, news and educational information, AARP produces AARP The Magazine, the world's largest circulation magazine; AARP Bulletin;  www.aarp.org ; AARP TV & Radio; AARP Books; and AARP en Español, a Spanish-language website addressing the interests and needs of Hispanics. AARP does not endorse candidates for public office or make contributions to political campaigns or candidates. AARP Foundation is an affiliated charity of AARP that is working to win back opportunity for struggling Americans 50+ by being a force for change on the most serious issues they face today: housing, hunger, income and isolation. AARP has staffed offices in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Learn more at  www.aarp.org

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