Heather was of course promoted as the left-leaning progressive by Emily's List----the Clinton neo-liberal led woman's organization. Mizeur was ALWAYS CLINTON WALL STREET GLOBAL CORPORATE NEO-LIBERAL AND THIS ONE ISSUE SHOWS THAT----
CREATING A PRIVATIZED STATE RETIREMENT FUND TO REPLACE THE STATE'S CONTRIBUTION TO FEDERAL SOCIAL SECURITY FOR STATE AND COUNTY/CITY EMPLOYEES. YOUR STATE IS PROBABLY DOING THE SAME-----WE NEED TO STOP THIS.
Americans supporting the ending of public sector benefits as 'too expensive for taxpayers' need to know-----pensions are often the only support some public employees have as they are not tied to Federal SS Trust as private employees are.
Chicago's Public Employees Do Not Get Social Security
Published: 07 August 2013 That little tidbit would have been useful information to include in an article on Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel's plans to cut public employee pensions. The piece reports that retired workers receive:
"average annual benefits ranging from about $34,000 for a general-services retiree to $78,000 for a former teacher with 30 years of service."
These payments will in most cases be the vast majority of retirees' income since workers who spent their entire careers working for the city will not be receiving Social Security benefits. It also would have been worth noting that the actual payments (rather than schedules for long-term employees) average just over $37,000 a year under the city's main retirement fund.
Heather Mizeur for Governor of Maryland
Provide a Secure Retirement for All Marylanders
After working for their entire lives, Marylanders deserve a secure and dignified retirement. Under our current system, too many workers face an uncertain future. By establishing a state-run savings option, we can make it easier and more affordable for Marylanders to save for a secure retirement.
Read Heather's plan to create a state-run retirement savings fund.
Please take a look at this even if you are not a state or county/local government employee because what comes to them will come to all Americans and their Social Security Trust. I brought point 10 to the top because it sets the tone right at the start------the Inspector General report indicates that many states failed to meet their SS contribution for state and county/city employees so there is a 'SHORTFALL' for government employees and think how those government employees never attached to Federal SS----like police and fire department will be affected.
10. What is the OIG report and how did it affect the Social Security coverage for public employees?
In December 1996, the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) issued audit report #A-04-95-06013, “Social Security Coverage of State and Local Government Employees.” SSA requested the audit to determine if serious reporting problems existed, and, if so, the extent—as earnings that are not properly reported by employers can lead to inaccurate employee earnings records, which can affect Social Security benefit entitlement and payment.
The report concluded that there is a significant risk of noncompliance by government employers with the State and local coverage provisions. OIG noted the following problems: No systematic compliance reviews by either IRS or SSA; Insufficient data collection and exchange between IRS and SSA, and widespread confusion as to the responsibilities of SSA, IRS and the States. In response to the problems, OIG made the following recommendations: That SSA fund an ongoing compliance program for public employers; pursue a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with IRS outlining the respective roles and responsibilities of each agency, and, as a possible long-term solution, study the feasibility of universal coverage of all public employees.
Note: The MOU was completed and signed by both the Social Security and IRS Commissioners in the spring 2002.
Social Security for government employees is different from private employees and they are most at risk as Clinton neo-liberals and Republicans try to privatize SS Trust. That was what Heather Mizeur was trying to do------change the Maryland practice of payroll contributions that went to Federal SS Trust-----to one that is privatized into the stock market.
Keep in mind nobody explained to state and county/city employees that all of this was about privatization----and especially those state and county/city employees identified as non-SS participation employees----police and fire department are usually that category for example. The Mayor of Baltimore simply forced police and fire to restructure their benefits to the stock market and the Maryland Assembly is moving to end its contributions to Federal SS Trust they know is also being privatized.
The article below is long and boring----please glance through just to understand how this Social Security Trust issue plays with all citizens:
Introduction to State and Local Coverage and Section 218
1. What is the Social Security Act of 1935?
On August 14, 1935, Congress voted into legislation the Social Security Act of 1935. This legislation established a permanent old-age pension system in the United States through employer and employee contributions. These contributions are collected through the Social Security payroll tax. The original legislation did not cover State and local government employees due to constitutional questions regarding the authority to impose taxes on the States.
2. How did the Social Security Act of 1935 affect State and local government employees?
The Social Security Act of 1935 did not cover State and local government employees. This caused a problem because many public employees did not participate in public retirement systems equivalent to Social Security. An amendment of the Act was enacted in 1950, Section 218, extending coverage to State and local employees.
3. What is Section 218 of the Act?
In 1950, Congress enacted Section 218 of the Social Security Act. This allowed Social Security coverage to be extended to the State and local government employees who were not covered by an alternative retirement system. The coverage was available at the request of the State, through an agreement signed by the State and SSA. These agreements are referred to as 218 Agreements, Federal-State agreements, modifications, or voluntary agreements (because the coverage is voluntarily requested by the State). Later, in 1954, Amendments were made to the Act allowing State and local workers who were members of a retirement system (except police officers or fire fighters) to also be covered under section 218 Agreements, provided coverage was authorized by the State and approved through a voluntary coverage referendum.
4. What is a 218 Agreement?
A Section 218 Agreement is a document signed by the State and SSA extending Social Security and Medicare or Medicare-only coverage on a voluntary basis to the State and local employees of that State. Each State has an agreement with SSA and most originated in the early 1950’s. When States want to cover additional State or local government employees they do so by means of a “modification” to the original agreement. Almost all States continue, to this day, to extend coverage through modifications.
The Commonwealths of Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands also have 218 Agreements with SSA. Additionally, interstate instrumentalities can enter into 218 Agreements.
5. What happens to State and local government employees who do not participate in Social Security?
State and local government employees who do not participate in Social Security, either through voluntary or mandatory coverage, do not have Social Security taxes removed from their paychecks. Therefore, they are not eligible to receive Social Security benefits based on that employment. If such employees later contribute to Social Security via a subsequent coverage agreement or mandatory coverage, their eligibility to benefits, and the amount of those benefits, would reflect only the time that they were properly covered.
6. Who is the State Administrator?
In order to effectively implement coverage at the State level, SSA, through regulation 20 C.F.R. §404.1204, requires that each State designate a State Social Security Administrator. The state administrator is responsible for administering all aspects of Section 218 coverage, including interpreting its provisions, and insuring proper application of Social Security coverage to all State and political subdivision employees.
7. Is there a difference in Social Security taxes for government employees and private employees?
When the Social Security Act was modified by Section 218, there were two separate tax processes for private and government employees. Private employee contributing to the Social Security tax paid “FICA” taxes; whereas government, i.e., State and local government, employees did not pay FICA taxes, but submitted “contributions” to the Social Security program.
When Section 218 was added to the Act in 1951, SSA was designated to administer its tax collection provisions much in the same manner that IRS administered FICA tax provisions. However, SSA considered each State liable for payment of the Social Security contributions on all covered employees, including local governments, because the Section 218 Agreement for Social Security coverage was between the State and SSA, not SSA and the employer. Therefore, while each private employer sent FICA taxes directly to the IRS, government employers with employees covered under a Section 218 Agreement sent Social Security “contributions” directly to the state administrator. The state Administrator then paid the Social Security contributions directly to an SSA account at the Federal Reserve Bank. The separate Social Security tax process for private and public employers existed for almost 40 years.
Then, in 1987, the Act and the Code were changed and taxes due pursuant to Section 218 Agreements were designated as FICA taxes. Public employers became responsible for withholding and remitting FICA taxes in the same manner as private employers and IRS assumed oversight authority.
8. What additional changes have been made to Section 218 coverage since it began?
Significant legislative changes have been made affecting State and local coverage since it began in 1951. Some changes include:
- The 1954 Social Security Amendments expanded the Act to allow States to extend Social Security coverage to State and local government employees who were members of public retirement system (except police officers and firefighters); provided coverage was authorized by the State and approved through a voluntary referendum of all eligible retirement system members.
- In 1956, the Act was amended to authorize certain States to divide retirement systems into two separate groups—those who desired coverage and those who did not. The 1956 Act also authorized certain States to extend Social Security coverage to police officers and firefighters covered by a retirement system.
- Beginning July 1, 1966, employees covered for Social Security under a Section 218 Agreement are automatically covered for Medicare.
- The 1983 Amendments included provisions preventing States from terminating Social Security coverage obtained under an agreement, effective April 20, 1983. Therefore, even though Social Security coverage is voluntarily obtained, it is permanent once in place.
- The Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1985 (COBRA) imposed mandatory Medicare-only coverage on State and Local employees. All employees, with certain exceptions, hired after March 31 1986, are covered for Medicare under section 210(p) of the Act (Medicare Qualified Government Employment). Employees covered for Social Security under a Section 218 Agreement have Medicare coverage as a part of Social Security, therefore they are excluded from mandatory Medicare. However, COBRA 85 also contained a provision allowing States to obtain Medicare-only coverage for employees hired before April 1, 1986 who are not covered under an Agreement. Authority for Medicare-only tax administration was placed in the Code [26 U.S.C. 3121(u)(2)(C)] as the responsibility of IRS.
- The Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1986 (OBRA 86) made dramatic changes to Section 218 of the Act. All responsibilities related to tax administration and oversight were removed from the section and from SSA’s authority for the years after 1986. SSA retained tax responsibility for all years prior to 1987. OBRA 86, at the same time, amended the Code to designate Social Security taxes due pursuant to section 218 agreements as FICA taxes, thereby transferring tax authority to IRS. Public employers became responsible for withholding and remitting these taxes in the same manner as private employers.
- The Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1989 (OBRA 89) amended the Act to allow SSA to correct an individual’s earnings record at any time when the employer has reported less than the correct amount.
- The Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1990 (OBRA 90) imposed mandatory Social Security coverage on State and local government employees beginning July 2, 1991 who are not (1) already covered for Social Security under an agreement, or (2) members of a retirement system which meets certain Treasury regulations or requirements. This provision is intended to ensure that all public employees have some type of retirement protection, either obtained as part of Social Security or through a plan offered by the employer. OBRA 90 also amended the Code to apply FICA taxes to mandatorily covered employment. An important difference between mandatory Social Security coverage and voluntary Social Security coverage obtained through a Section 218 agreement is that mandatory Social Security coverage for employees terminates when they become members of a retirement system meeting Treasury regulation requirements. Social Security coverage obtained under a Section 218 agreement cannot be terminated, regardless of retirement system membership status.
- The Social Security Independence and Program Improvements Act of 1994 established the SSA as an independent agency, effective March 31, 1995. This Act also increased the FICA exclusion amount for election workers from $100 to any amount less than the threshold amount mandated by law in a calendar year. (To verify the current year amount, see the SSA website.) States were authorized to amend their Section 218 Agreements to increase the FICA exclusion amount for election workers to a statutorily mandated threshold. The Act also amended Section 218 of the Act to allow all States the option to extend Social Security and Medicare coverage to police officers and firefighters who participate in a public retirement system. (Under previous law, only 23 States were specifically authorized to do so.)
- Public Law 105-277 provided a 3-month period for States to modify their Section 218 Agreements to exclude from coverage services performed by students. This provision was effective July 1, 2000, for States that exercised the option to take this exclusion.
9. How have government employers been affected by the changes occurring since 1950?
Due to the changes in coverage, some public employers may be unaware of their employees’ coverage status. The following factors have contributed to this dilemma:
- For over 30 years, from 1951 to 1982, it was possible for States to terminate coverage previously obtained under an agreement; terminating coverage was not allowed after 1982. This led to a belief, still existing among some government employers, that Social Security coverage for government employees is optional. However, Social Security coverage is required, absent a qualified retirement system.
- There is a unique relationship between Social Security coverage and retirement system coverage. Through Section 218 Agreements, retirement system groups can be covered for Social Security (e.g., all positions in a State Teachers’ Retirement System or all positions under a county pension plan). In situations were coverage is obtained for retirement system coverage groups, employers may not always be aware of their employees eligibility in that system, which could lead to reporting errors.
- Unlike Social Security coverage for private industry employees, there are circumstances under which coverage for government employees discontinues. These circumstances depend on how the coverage was originally obtained. Coverage obtained pursuant to a Section 218 Agreement (regardless of retirement system membership) cannot be terminated as of 1983. However, mandatory Social Security coverage stops when the employee becomes a member of a qualifying retirement system meeting. Conversely, mandatory Medicare-only coverage cannot be terminated.
- Many small government employers do not have personnel or payroll staffs. In this situation, wage reporting functions may be performed by individuals with little or no knowledge of SSA or IRS requirements. Even experienced personnel or payroll staffs make mistakes due to the complexity of the coverage issue. When government employers began to pay FICA taxes directly to IRS in 1987, many States reduced the role of the State Administrator. In some States, despite SSA regulations, State Administrator functions were completely abolished. During the years that SSA had oversight authority for correct reporting of Social Security contributions; both SSA and State Administrators audited the correctness of employer reports. IRS did not place special emphasis on auditing government employers until recently.
Think of how hard teachers and other public employees are fighting these forced cuts to their benefits------and then understand they may be people not connected to SS Trust and we need to protect them from lost retirement.
Those people tied to pensions that are public employees not connected to our Federal Social Security Trust are now being literally held hostage in this fight over cuts in pensions vs saving our Social Security Trusts. Those not paying into the SS Trust obviously are not as invested in protecting it although they must have family members that do depend on it. As you see here-----Federal employees------teachers-----police and fire fighters----religious order----may not be connected to receiving SS----but have been promised some other means of retirement that is now under attack.
This may be why some public sector unions stay with the most raging of Clinton Wall Street global corporate neo-liberals for so long.
This is the point------as you watch global pols attempt to gut these American citizens and their retirements-----
-YOU KNOW THEY ARE GOING TO DO THE SAME WITH OUR FEDERAL SOCIAL SECURITY----
GET RID OF GLOBAL CORPORATE POLS!
Groups That Do Not Pay Into the Social Security System
by William Pirraglia, Demand Media
Since 1983, almost all groups in the United States contribute to the Social Security system. Before 1983, members of Congress, the President and Vice President and all federal employees were exempt from Social Security taxes and benefits. Currently, the only prominent groups that do not participate in the Social Security system are railroad workers, covered by the Railroad Retirement Board, an independent agency of the U.S. government, some religious personnel and state and local government employees with their own retirement systems.
Railroad Retirement Board
Along with retirement benefits, the Railroad Retirement Board offers survivor benefits, unemployment, sickness and disability payments for railroad employees and their families. Created in 1935, as was Social Security, the Railroad Retirement Board is dedicated only to serving U.S. railroad employees for social insurance programs. Although an independent federal agency, the Railroad Retirement Board does have some administrative duties within the Social Security Act for some benefit money and interfaces with Social Security to administer retired railroad employees' Medicare insurance.
Although all federal employees hired since Jan. 1, 1984, pay into the Social Security system, those hired before that date can still be covered by the Civil Service Retirement System, created in 1920, before the current Social Security system existed. The 1983 law mandating Social Security coverage for federal employees allowed this group to make a one-time choice to stay in the Civil Service Retirement System or move to Social Security. The law also provides that those federal employees originally hired before Jan. 1, 1984, left government service and rehired thereafter must participate in the Social Security system.
State and Local Employees
Many state and local government employees still do not pay into Social Security. These groups are covered by other retirement plans. For example, teachers and educators in Texas are covered by the Texas Retirement System, but can also access some Social Security benefits. However, they are also subject to the Government Pension Offset, which reduces some Social Security benefits they otherwise could collect. Spousal and widow or widower benefits are also restricted. Almost one-quarter of the nation's state and local government employees remain exempt from Social Security.
Police and Firefighters
Some state or local police personnel and firefighters are exempt from Social Security, having retirement pensions funded -- sometimes insufficiently funded -- by the states, cities, towns or counties for which they work. Some states, such as Rhode Island, have encountered financial problems with their self-insured retirement systems because of unfunded liabilities and pension fund losses. Even those states that have funding problems cannot easily join the Social Security system; making lump sum payments for new Social Security members is a challenge some local governments cannot meet.
Clergy and Religious Orders
Members of the clergy and religious orders not taking a vow of poverty can elect to participate or not participate in Social Security benefits. Churches and church-related organizations can also elect not to include their employees in Social Security coverage since 1984 regulations were enacted.
You can see why the Chicago Teacher's Union is the strongest in protesting -------it is for the children but it is for their retirement as well--------Rahm Emanuel and global pols paint these teachers as SELFISH, NOT THINKING OF THE STUDENTS NEEDING THAT PENSION REVENUE FOR SCHOOLS-----thinking only of themselves. This is the same for police and fire fighters.............................................
Today, nine out of 10 Americans age 65 and older depend on Social Security benefits to lead a
comfortable and secure retirement.
Among middle-class Americans, Social Security makes up more
than 40 percent of an individual retiree’s income. And yet not all workers can participate in Social
Security, a fact few people realize.
While the system includes all private sector workers, many local
and state government employees lack the retirement and social
safety net offered by Social Security. Teachers constitute one of the
largest groups of uncovered workers. Nationwide, approximately
1.2 million teachers (about 40 percent of all public K–12 teachers)
are not covered.
Those teachers are concentrated in 15 states--
Alaska, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky,
Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Missouri, Nevada, Ohio, Rhode
Island, and Texas—and the District of Columbia, where many or all
public school teachers neither pay into nor receive benefits from the system. They do not have the
same essential income protection in their old age as nearly every other American worker does.
You can see yet again------the drive to privatize Social Security comes from Republican public policy groups----it has since SS Trust was created. Yet, Clinton/Obama neo-liberals are the ones pushing just as hard as Republicans to privatize SS ------this is how you know your pol is not a Democrat------
ALL MARYLAND POLS ARE CLINTON WALL STREET GLOBAL CORPORATE NEO-LIBERALS OR BUSH NEO-CONS AND ARE WORKING TO PRIVATIZE SOCIAL SECURITY.
The article below does state exactly why the 'cap' on contributing to Social Security set at $100,000 should be removed as is the social Democratic stance of Bernie Sanders--------the rich live longer so should pay according to what they earn. Republicans and Clinton neo-liberals protecting the rich will say this is the reason PRIVATIZING SS IS A BIG BOOST FOR THE POOR.
Social Security Choice Paper No. 4
Privatizing Social Security: A Big Boost for the Poor
By Michael D. Tanner
July 26, 1996Executive Summary
Critics of Social Security privatization often warn that such proposals hold serious dangers for the elderly poor. However, a closer examination of the evidence indicates that the poor would be among those who would gain most from the privatization of Social Security.
By providing a much higher rate of return, privatization would raise the incomes of those elderly retirees who are most in need. Although the current Social Security system is ostensibly designed to be progressive, transferring wealth to the elderly poor, the system actually contains many inequities that leave the poor at a disadvantage. For instance, the low-income elderly are much more likely than their wealthy counterparts to be dependent on Social Security benefits for most or all of their retirement income. But despite a progressive benefit structure, Social Security benefits are inadequate for the elderly poor’s retirement needs.
In addition, the progressivity of Social Security is undermined by differences in life expectancy. Because the wealthy generally live longer than the poor, they receive more total Social Security payments over the course of their lifetimes. In a privatized system, an individual’s benefits would not be dependent on life expectancy. Individuals would have a property right in their benefits. Any benefits remaining at their deaths would become part of their estates, inherited by their heirs.
Finally, Social Security drains capital from the poorest areas of the country, leaving less money available for new investment and job creation. Privatization would increase national savings and provide a new pool of capital for investment that would be particularly beneficial to the poor.
For those reasons, Social Security privatization should be viewed as a big boost to America’s poor.