In a Forbes column, NIRS Executive Director Dan Doonan writes retirement policy has remained an area for bipartisan cooperation. Congress has passed two major pieces of retirement policy legislation in recent years, and red states, blue states, and purple states have established state-facilitated retirement savings programs to help working Americans save for their retirement.
It is encouraging to see this bipartisanship continuing in support of another important retirement savings issue: updating the outdated asset limits for the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program. SSI provides monthly cash benefits to approximately eight million Americans who are elderly or disabled and who have very little or no income. These are extremely modest benefits: the maximum benefit amount is only three-fourths of the federal poverty level. Nevertheless, these benefits are crucial for the economic security of SSI recipients. Unfortunately, the program also imposes asset limits on participants that were set nearly forty years ago. These asset limits are so low that they lock into poverty many of the people the program is designed to help.