Pete Buttigieg Releases a New Plan to Promote Dignity and Security in Retirement

Pete Buttigieg Releases a New Plan to Promote Dignity and Security in Retirement

SOUTH BEND, IN — Today, Pete Buttigieg released his bold plan to secure a new era for older Americans by empowering them to age and retire with dignity and a sense of security over their lives. Pete’s comprehensive approach expands and protects health care choices, including access to Medicare Advantage plans, strengthens Social Security for generations to come, and increases meaningful long-term care that allows Americans to age at home and in their community.

Around 2030, the number of older adults will exceed the number of children for the first time in our nation’s history, exacerbating a crisis that Washington politicians have neglected for years.  

As President, Pete will bolster economic security in retirement and the affordability of long-term care, provide paid and unpaid caregivers long-overdue support, and take steps to drastically improve the quality of life in old age. Pete will initiate a historic long-term care program for older Americans and institute a Public Option 401(k) to supplement Social Security benefits. 

“There’s no dignity in retirement without being able to choose the health care plan that’s right for you,” said Buttigieg. “I’ll always remember the social worker patiently explaining to my mom that her best option to cover Dad’s care might be for our family to spend everything that we had until we were asset-poor enough to qualify for Medicaid. I am determined to usher in a new era for older Americans that upholds the unshakable promise that every American should be able to maintain a decent standard of living when they retire.”

Pete’s plan to increase meaningful long-term care will:

  • Establish Long-Term Care America, a new long-term care program that will provide eligible older people a benefit of $90 per day for as long as they need it. Of people currently 65 or older, over 11 million will receive benefits from the program throughout their lifetime. Pete will also revitalize the private long-term care insurance market. 
  • Fully support direct care workers by setting a $15 per hour minimum wage, setting work standards through a National Direct Care Workforce Standards Board, expanding programs to train caregivers and create ladders for career advancement, and guaranteeing that home care workers can join a union to further raise wages and workforce standards.
  • Reduce the financial burden of unpaid caregiving by ensuring working Americans have access to 12 weeks of paid family leave, providing credit toward Social Security for family and other unpaid caregivers, and improving support by funding and training long-term care navigators and creating community-based service hubs.
  • Preserve Medicare Advantage, private Medicare plans that over 20 million seniors – nearly one-third of all those on Medicare – selected this year. He will protect the ability of all Americans to choose the health plan that works best for them.
  • Improve quality of life for older people by implementing minimum staffing ratios in long-term care facilities, combating rising social isolation and loneliness, and addressing mental health. 

Pete will ensure that Americans will be able to retire with dignity and economic security with programs that:

  • Protect Social Security for the next generation without cutting benefits, increasing the program’s solvency to 2051, while working with Congress to protect Social Security forever by automatically adjusting tax rates for high earners.
  • Institute a portable Public Option 401(k) with low fees and smart investment options  so that all workers have the opportunity to supplement their Social Security benefits if they choose with employer contributions. This will expand retirement savings among the 62 million workers locked out of tax-preferred retirement savings, and enable the typical worker to retire with over $500,000 in the Public Option 401(k).
  • Help American families weather financial emergencies with a Rainy Day Account within the Public Option 401(k).
  • Increase Social Security benefits to keep vulnerable seniors out of poverty.
  • Require Social Security to recognize caregiving as work by providing credit toward benefits for family and other unpaid caregivers.

Read the full text of the plan HERE.

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