Earlier this month, the AARP (American Association of Retired Persons) launched a $5 million print ad campaign to express its position that Personal Retirement Accounts will hurt millions of Americans who rely on Social Security as their only source of retirement income. PRAs are a key component to President Bush's economic plan.
"Winners and losers are stock market terms. Do you really want them to become retirement terms?" asks one ad. Another dipicts a couple in their 40's saying, "There are places in retirement planning for risk. Social Security is not one of them." The campaign urges Americans to contact members of Congress to show opposition to Personal Retirement Accounts.
In an open letter to AARP members the organization says "Social Security is strong now and in no danger of going broke". But on its website the AARP admits that if nothing is changed, benefits will need to be dramatically reduced for retirees by the 2040's. Nowhere does the AARP mention that the proposed PRAs would be voluntary or that only younger workers would be eligible.
The AARP, whose mission is to serve older Americans, needs to be honest with retirees rather than frightening them into becoming servants of its political agenda. The AARP should be educating its membership about the Social Security system and providing accurate information about the problems and proposed solutions.