We've campaigned for Social Security and fought against unfair corporate pension practices. But we must all help repave America's road to retirement if Amparo Moreno and other California child care providers hope to stop working and enjoy a secure retirement before they die.
Our three-lane retirement highway of Social Security, traditional pensions and personal savings has become a rocky road over the last 30 years due to political extremism, corporate greed and the subsequent erosion of traditional defined benefit pension plans in the private sector.
Working until you die or retiring into poverty are often the only retirement options for millions of child care providers who work for years without raises, medical insurance, retirement benefits or even sick days.
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"We probably will not enjoy the part of the American Dream that says if you work hard and play by the rules, you can take care of your family and expect to retire with dignity. I don't see myself retiring anytime soon and I'm probably going to work until I'm 70--if not until I die," says Moreno.
Child care providers aren't the only group of workers facing retirement insecurity. As retirement options dwindle, many workers find themselves relying solely on Social Security for retirement income. These monthly benefits are less than $1,200 for low-income workers struggling to cover housing and medical costs and often living on a $5-a-day food budget.
No worker should have to choose between working until they die and retiring into poverty
The labor movement has played a vital role in providing retirement security to American workers with a strong, three-legged retirement system and we can do it again.
SEIU is committed to working with its allies and elected officials to deliver retirement security to all workers as part of a broader agenda to fight for social and economic justice for America's 99%. Strengthening Social Security for workers, like Moreno, is our top priority for retirement security.
In addition to strengthening Social Security, SEIU is campaigning to improve retirement security by working to create new, innovative private sector models that lead to greater retirement security for all workers that don't have a pension. We're also advocating for sensible reforms to ensure our public pension plans are strong and sustainable.