The National Academy of Social Insurance (NASI), an elite organization of the nation's leading experts on issues including Social Security, Medicare and workers' compensation, has tapped one of the AFT's own: Mel Aaronson, treasurer of the United Federation of Teachers in New York City.
For more than 25 years, Aaronson has been working to prepare UFT members for a financially secure retirement.
"One of the most important sources of our income [in retirement] is the Social Security system," says Aaronson.
The general rule of thumb is that retirees need 80 percent of their preretirement income to maintain their standard of living, he says. For UFT retirees, Social security provides about 50 percent of a paraprofessional's preretirement income and about 25 percent of the preretirement income for a higher-salaried teacher.
Aaronson, who was one of 83 new NASI members announced in December, says admission to the academy is "quite an honor."
But Aaronson's long record of advocacy speaks for itself. For more than two decades he has participated in national, state and local debates on Social security, Medicare and other social insurance issues; and since 1980 he's been a trustee of the New York City Teachers' Retirement System-a defined-benefit pension system. …