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'Chained CPI' will mosts hurt women counting on Social Security

To the editor,
Are you a retired woman who has worked most of your life while raising children and keeping up with house work? Do you count on the Social Security that you paid into as you worked for your retirement income? Have you appreciated the Cost of Living Adjustments (COLA) that have been made to keep up with the ever-increasing costs of living? Then you should be aware that some folks in Washington are pushing a proposal that would reduce COLAs over the next 10 years. The longer you have been retired the more your COLA would be cut. This proposal is called a "Chained CPI" (Consumer Price Index) and it is a terrible idea and especially harmful to women, who rely more on Social Security to meet their basic needs.
Typically, women receive less in benefits because they earn less than men and are more likely to have gaps in their employment. The burden of health care spending is also greater for women — nearly 19 percent of their income vs. 14 percent for men. To reduce Social Security benefits even more through the proposed Chained CPI would be wrong for all and especially unconscionable for women
AARP has developed a handy on-line tool that shows exactly the impact this COLA change would have on New Hampshire women (and men). Visit www.aarp.org/whatyoulose and see for yourself.
Lois Beach
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