CEOs Call for Raising Retirement Age to 70 for Social Security, Medicare

January 18, 2013

An influential group of business CEOs is pushing a plan to gradually increase the full retirement age to 70 for both Social Security and Medicare, and to partially privatize the health insurance program for older Americans, says the Washington Post.

  • The Business Roundtable's plan would protect those 55 years old and older from cuts but younger workers would face significant changes.
  • The plan would result in smaller annual benefit increases for all Social Security recipients.
  • Initial benefits for wealthy retirees would also be smaller.
  • Medicare recipients would be able to enroll in the traditional program or in private plans that could adjust premiums based on age and health status.

The proposal comes as Republican leaders in Congress are calling for spending cuts as part of an agreement to increase the government's authority to borrow. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner says the United States will exhaust its borrowing authority as soon as mid-February, raising the possibility of a first-ever national default.

The Business Roundtable is an association of CEOs of some of the largest U.S. companies. Member companies account for nearly a third of the total value of the U.S. stock market, according to the group.

President Obama has embraced some parts of the business group's plan for Social Security and Medicare, but he opposes any plan to privatize Medicare, and has backed away from his earlier support for raising the eligibility age.

The proposal to offer private plans as part of Medicare is similar to a proposal by Republican Mitt Romney when he ran for president last year. Obama and Democrats in Congress campaigned against it, making it unlikely to pass any time soon.

 

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