WASHINGTON, April 28, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Today AARP volunteers dropped off petitions containing more than 26,000 signatures at the U.S. Department of Labor in support of a conflict of interest standard, following the release of a proposed rule earlier this month. The petition delivery kicks off several days of action in Washington that includes visits to Senators and members of Congress by AARP volunteers from every state on issues that include eliminating conflicts of interest in retirement advice, the Older Americans Act, the Safe Streets Act, the bipartisan Assisting Caregivers Today (ACT) Caucus, and Social Security trust fund solvency, as well as thanking those who helped to pass a "doc fix" law that allows Medicare beneficiaries to keep seeing their physicians.
"This week AARP volunteers from every state urged Congress and the Obama administration to address a variety of issues to ensure we have laws that protect and enhance health and economic security for current and future generations," said Nancy LeaMond, Chief Advocacy and Engagement Officer, AARP. "We delivered petitions today to ensure that all financial advisers put their clients' interests first. We'll also head to Congress to discuss health, safety and economic issues that impact millions of American families."
Among the issues that AARP volunteers and staff will raise with members of the House and Senate from every state are:
- Financial Conflicts of Interest: In addition to bringing petitions to the U.S. Department of Labor, AARP volunteers continue to speak to members of Congress about AARP's opposition to any legislation that seeks to stop or slow a proposed rule requiring all retirement advisers to give advice in their clients' best interest. Each year hidden fees, unfair risk and bad investment advice rob Americans of $17 billion of retirement income.
- The Older Americans Act (S.192): The reauthorization of the bipartisan Older Americans Act would help ensure the continued array of programs and services to assist, protect, nourish and sustain the nation's seniors with maximum dignity and independence. Since 2010, AARP has consistently supported and urged a simple reauthorization to protect the core programs of this crucial law.
- The Safe Streets Act: Expected to be reintroduced today in the House, the bipartisan Safe Streets Act would ensure that planners and traffic engineers design, construct, and operate roads with the safety of all users in mind by directing states and metropolitan planning organizations (MPOs) to create a "safe streets" policy within two years of enactment. The policy would be different for each locality based on their individual communities.
- Assisting Caregivers Today (ACT) Caucus: AARP backed the formation of the bipartisan, bicameral caucus as a forum to engage those in the House and Senate on family caregiving and living independently, exchange ideas, and build bipartisan relationships that can lead to solutions. Volunteers will seek to expand this important caucus. The caucus was launched in March of this year by U.S. Sens. Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) and Michael Bennet (D-CO) and U.S. Reps. Diane Black (R-TN) and Michelle Lujan Grisham (D-NM).
- Social Security: If Congress does not address the shortfall in the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) trust fund, children, veterans, older workers, families and others who receive disability insurance benefits may face a 20% cut in their benefits. AARP seeks a reallocation of the trust funds with improved program integrity measures.
AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization, with a membership of nearly 38 million, that helps people turn their goals and dreams into real possibilities, strengthens communities and fights for the issues that matter most to families such as healthcare, employment and income security, retirement planning, affordable utilities and protection from financial abuse. We advocate for individuals in the marketplace by selecting products and services of high quality and value to carry the AARP name as well as help our members obtain discounts on a wide range of products, travel, and services. A trusted source for lifestyle tips, news and educational information, AARP produces AARP The Magazine, the world's largest circulation magazine; AARP Bulletin; www.aarp.org; AARP TV & Radio; AARP Books; and AARP en Español, a Spanish-language website addressing the interests and needs of Hispanics. AARP does not endorse candidates for public office or make contributions to political campaigns or candidates. The AARP Foundation is an affiliated charity that provides security, protection, and empowerment to older persons in need with support from thousands of volunteers, donors, and sponsors. AARP has staffed offices in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Learn more at www.aarp.org.