Democrats’ Platform Stakes Out Retirement Priorities

The Democrats have laid out their party platform – and when it comes to retirement issues, they plan to do a lot of fighting.

In keeping with an American political tradition dating back to the 19th Century, the Democrats have released a draft version of their platform ahead of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia.

The 39-page document – which is a statement of the party’s principals on a wide variety of issues – touches on some retirement policy topics, including Social Security.

Below is the Democratic Party’s take on several key retirement issues, according to the document.

  • DOL’s Conflict of Interest Rule: Democrats “will fight against any attempt by Republicans in Congress or on Wall Street to roll back the Conflict of Interest Rule, which requires that retirement advisors put the best interests of their clients above their own financial gain.”
  • Multiemployer Pension Plans: “Democrats will also fight to protect the earned pension benefits of Americans in multiemployer pension plans.”
  • Other Defined Benefit Plans: Democrats “will defend the right of workers to collect their defined benefit pensions and make sure workers get priority and protection when pension plans are in distress.”
  • Social Security: Democrats “will fight every effort to cut, privatize, or weaken Social Security, including attempts to raise the retirement age or to diminish benefits by cutting cost-of-living adjustments. Democrats will expand Social Security so that every American can retire with dignity and respect, including women who are shortchanged by the current system because they are widowed or took time out of the workforce to care for their children, aging parents, or ailing family members. And we will make sure Social Security’s guaranteed benefits continue for generations to come by asking those at the top to pay more, and will achieve this goal by taxing some of the income of people above $250,000. The Democratic Party is also committed to providing all necessary financial support for the Social Security Administration to provide timely benefits and high-quality service for those it serves.”

It remains to be seen how or if even these initiatives will be paid for but certainly the Democrats remain committed to increasing taxes on the “rich” to help get there.

Andrew Remo is the American Retirement Association’s Director of Legislative Affairs.

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