The mission of the American Retirees Education Foundation is to research, educate and inform retirees, future retirees and the general public on how best to protect and promote retirement income security and retiree health care. The Foundation will develop and advocate policy recommendations based on its research findings to relevant constituency groups, the media, the general public, and Federal and state policymakers.
AREF Mission Is Not…
we're not allowed to lobby members of Congress, their staffs or Congressional Committees. The bottom line is that the AREF is not allowed to lobby for passage of legislation or regulations.
AREF Is A Tax-Exempt Organization
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has approved the American Retirees Education Foundation (AREF) as a tax-exempt organization that is eligible to receive tax-deductible charitable donations. Click on the "Tax- Deductible Information" tab above to read and copy three important IRS approval documents.
AmazonSmile Program to Benefit the American Retirees Education Program (AREF)
The National Retiree Legislative Network (NRLN) board created the American Retiree Education Foundation (AREF) in 2014 as a 501(c)(3) tax-deductible, nonprofit education foundation to expand the research and educational reach of the NRLN and to enable NRLN to sharpen its focus as an organization lobbying for the passage of federal legislation and regulations that benefit retirees.
The AREF is always seeking ways to increase its funding through individual tax-deductible contributions, grants from public and private foundations, individual tax-deductible bequests and non-traditional ways. AREF funds pay for a number of tasks previously paid for by the NRLN. For example, the updating this month of the white paper on Protecting Pension Assets which is used to educate members of Congress on the need for legislation to prevent pension plan sponsors from using plan assets for non-pension expenses. Access the white paper here.
The AREF has identified a non-traditional way that you can help fund the AREF without costing you anything extra if (when) you make a purchase online from Amazon through its AmazonSmile program designed to provide a percentage of a purchase price to qualified non-profit organizations, such as the AREF. I urge you to read the following information and help provide funding to the AREF should you make an Amazon purchase. Click here to learn more about AmazonSmile.
AREF Chairman’s Message
AREF Research and Education Report for 2017
The American Retiree Education Foundation (AREF) continued its efforts in 2017 to expand its research and education reach for the benefit of aging Americans with concerns about their financial security now and in the future. The AREF continues to conduct research and analysis on the impact of eroding financial assets of retirees due to diminishing pension plan assets, increasing costs of prescription drugs, Medicare regulations which limit transparency of healthcare costs and threats to future benefits as well as the stability Social Security.
- In January 2017, AREF continued its research on the impact of increasing prescription drug prices on seniors with emphasis on the positive impact of price negotiation authority for Medicare if enabled by law. The AREF’s analysis was presented to policymakers in Congress and the Executive Branch to educate them on the policy issues affecting the health of senior citizens on a day-to-day basis. The vulnerability of this large segment of the population gives a clearer picture of the magnitude of financial and physical hardship for retirees and their caregivers.
- The AREF has conducted research and analysis that was used this year to update policymakers on financial security needs including:
- Protecting Retiree Benefits in Corporate Bankruptcy
- Protecting Retirees in Pension Plan Mergers
- Protecting Retirees in Corporate Mergers, Acquisitions and Spin-Offs
- Reducing Prescription Drug Costs – Importation from Canada & Medicare Price Negotiations
- Preserving Medicare Benefits Important to Retirees
- In Spring 2017, the AREF arranged for a presentation in Washington, DC on Medicare issues by Marilyn Moon, an Institute Fellow and Director of the Center on Aging for the American Institute for Research, one of the world's largest behavioral and social science research and evaluation organizations. Ms. Moon is a former public trustee for the Social Security and Medicare Trust Funds.
- In Fall 2017, the AREF arranged for a presentation on the cost of prescription drugs by Allan Coukell, Senior Director of Health Programs for Pew Research Center, a nonpartisan fact tank that informs the public about the issues, attitudes and trends shaping America and the world.
- The AREF’s updated analysis on n Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) Reforms was introduced before a coalition of senior advocacy groups and PBGC officials.
- The AREF continued its research supporting public policy solutions to pension issues with results presented to staff members from the Senate Finance Committee and Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee and from the House HELP Subcommittee and the Ways and Means.
- The AREF white paper making the standard pension plan Annual Funding Notice (AFN) more transparent to retirees was presented to the Department of Labor Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) Advisory Council. The Advisory Council reports its recommendations to the Secretary of the Department of Labor.
- The AREF’s analysis on the impact of premium supports on retiree health if incorporated into the Medicare system was presented to the Executive Branch as the policy debate to reform Medicare was taking place in Congress.