Editor’s note: This article first appeared in Human Capital, a newsletter by Washington Bureau Chief Melanie Waddell about the people who shape the financial regulatory space.
Welcome back to Human Capital, where we spotlight the movers and shakers influencing policies and regulations in the financial services realm.
I’m Melanie Waddell in Washington. This week, I followed famed advisor Ric Edelman as he ventured to Capitol Hill to raise the alarm — once again — on the urgent need for lawmakers to address the looming retirement income crisis that’s scheduled to hit in 14 years.
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“We need to recognize the incredible challenge we are facing as a country with Social Security and Medicare,” he said during the Wednesday Capitol Hill event dubbed “Planning for 75 at 25: Saving for Retirement and How Policy Affects You,” held by the Funding Our Future Coalition, which was launched by Edelman and the Bipartisan Policy Center in February.
Along with founding Edelman Financial Services — which manages $21 billion-plus in assets for more than 36,000 clients nationwide — hosting TV and radio shows as well as penning numerous books, Edelman is a vocal participant in pushing lawmakers to take action.
Edelman told me that the Funding Our Future Coalition is “developing massive grass-roots programs,” with the Wednesday event being the first. “We have chosen to focus our efforts on consumer awareness.”
The “bluntness” of the current retirement income crisis: Under current law — “and many members of Congress don’t realize this because they weren’t in office in 1983 when the law was last changed” — starting in 2034 (some say 2032, he added), current Social Security retirement benefits will be cut 23% across the board.
“If Congress takes no action, the current law mandates a 23% cut in benefits for all retirees equally,” Edelman warned attendees at the event.