N. Altman

Nancy J. Altman

Co-Founder and President, Social Security Works
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About Nancy

Altman has long been an expert on Social Security, in both its history and current policy matters. As a legislative assistant, she advised Senator John C. Danforth (R-MO) on Social Security matters from 1977 to 1981. She has gone on to write extensively, in books and articles, about issues surrounding retirement income. Currently she chairs the Board of Directors of the Pension Rights Center, an organization that advocates for beneficiary rights and provides resources to the public.


How the GOP-Backed Ryan Plan Threatens Middle-Class Retirement Security

  • Eric Kingson
  • Benjamin Veghte

In the News

Opinion: "Democrats Must Protect Social Security by Raising the Debt Ceiling," Nancy J. Altman, The Hill, November 19, 2022.
Quoted by Mark Miller in "Social Security: Where Do the 2020 Candidates Stand?," The New York Times, February 7, 2020.
Quoted by Naomi Jagoda in "Progressive Tax-The-RIch Push Gains Momentum," The Hill, September 16, 2019.
Quoted by Naomi Jagoda in "Progressive Tax-the-Rich Push Gains Momentum," The Hill, September 16, 2019.
Opinion: "Why Employers Should Support the Expansion of Social Security," Nancy J. Altman, Forbes, December 6, 2018.
Research discussed by Alessandra Malito, in "What You Probably Don’t Know About Social Security," MarketWatch, August 18, 2018.
Opinion: "Democrats Have a Medicare Negotiation Plan That Terrifies Big Pharma," Nancy J. Altman, The Hill, July 30, 2018.
Quoted by Alessandra Malito in "Social Security: What to Know, What to Expect, How to Make it Better," Marketwatch, July 17, 2018.
Research discussed by Joe Davidson, in "Social Security Recipients Could be Collateral Damage of Trump's Workforce Orders," The Washington Post, July 17, 2018.
Quoted by Mike Elk in "Trump’s Crackdown on Social Security Judges Seen as An Attack on the Disabled," Payday Report, July 14, 2018.
Opinion: "Social Security Closures Show 'Callous Disregard'," Nancy J. Altman, The Baltimore Sun, June 21, 2018.
Quoted by Charles S. Clark in "Social Security Plan to Shutter Field Office Prompts Street Protest," Government Executive, May 3, 2018.
Quoted by Terrence McCoy in "Spending Bill Addresses Crushing Backlog of Federal Disability Claims," The Washington Post, March 28, 2018.
Quoted by Michelle Singletary in "Attention, Seniors: Trump’s Budget is Coming for Your Medicare Benefits," The Washington Post, February 19, 2018.
Quoted by Richard Eskow in "Forget Trump; His Party is the Problem Now," Nation of Change, February 13, 2018.
Opinion: "The Latest Devious Republican Attack on Social Security," Nancy J. Altman (with Linda Benesch), The Hill, February 12, 2018.
Opinion: "Immigrants Play a Vital Role in Securing our Social Security System's Future," Nancy J. Altman, The Hill, January 30, 2018.
Quoted by Russ Wiles in "Changes May be Ahead for Social Security, Observers Say ," The Republic, October 22, 2017.
Guest on FAIR, March 10, 2017.
Opinion: "Donald Trump’s New ‘Health’ Secretary Wants to Destroy Medicare," Nancy J. Altman, Huffington Post, November 29, 2016.
Opinion: "Clinton and Sanders Debate How Much to Expand Social Security," Nancy J. Altman, Huffington Post, February 12, 2016.
Opinion: "Seniors and Veterans Deserve a Raise," Nancy J. Altman (with U.S. Representative Tammy Duckworth (D-IL 8th District)), Huffington Post, December 21, 2015.
Quoted by Greg Sargent in "A Temporary Outbreak of Sanity in Washington," The Washington Post, October 27, 2015.
Opinion: "Ending the Student Debt Crisis and Expanding Social Security: We Will Win Together," Nancy J. Altman (with Natalia Abrams), Huffington Post, September 16, 2015.
Opinion: "Happy Grandparent's Day! They - and We - Deserve an Expanded Social Security," Nancy J. Altman, Huffington Post, September 13, 2015.
Quoted by Helaine Olen in "Attacks on Social Security are Attacks on Women," Slate, August 20, 2015.
Opinion: "Medicare at Age 50: Building on Its Success," Nancy J. Altman, Huffington Post, July 30, 2015.
Opinion: "2015 Trustees Report Confirms That Expanding Social Security is Fully Affordable," Nancy J. Altman, Huffington Post, July 22, 2015.
Opinion: "Independence Day, Thomas Paine and Social Security," Nancy J. Altman, Huffington Post, July 2, 2015.
Quoted by Pamela Yip in "Middle Class Struggle for Retirement," News.com, May 22, 2015.
Opinion: "A Living Wage when Working, a Poverty-Free Old Age when Retired," Nancy J. Altman (with Eric Kingson), Huffington Post, April 15, 2015.
Guest on Newsmax TV, March 10, 2015.
Quoted by Anthony Man in "Ted Deutch Preaches to Constituent Choir on Social Security," Sun Sentinel, March 10, 2015.
Quoted by Bud Meyers in "The True Advocates for Social Security," Economic Populist, February 22, 2015.
Quoted by Dylan Scott in "The 80-Year Conservative War on Social Security is Back for More," Talking Points Memo, January 14, 2015.
Opinion: "The New Republican Attack on Social Security Starts Now!," Nancy J. Altman (with Eric Kingson), Common Dreams, January 7, 2015.
Opinion: "Can the Social Security Program Really Go Bankrupt?," Nancy J. Altman, Aging Today, October/November 2005.
Interviewed in "Interview with Al Sharpton on U.S. Social Security policy," MSNBC's Politics Nation, June 30, 2012.
Guest on PBS NewsHour, April 23, 2012.
Opinion: "The Danger of Privatizing Social Security," Nancy J. Altman (with Mert Bernstein and Eric Kingson), St. Louis Post Dispatch, September 25, 2008.
Opinion: "John McCain and Social Security," Nancy J. Altman (with Eric Kingson), San Francisco Chronicle, August 14, 2008.
Opinion: "The Right Fixes for Social Security," Nancy J. Altman, Los Angeles Times, April 9, 2008.
Opinion: "Mississippi’s Primary Illustrates Gains of the Civil-Rights Movement," Nancy J. Altman (with Eric Kingson), Philadelphia Inquirer, March 19, 2008.
Opinion: "Why Older Americans Will Support Obama," Nancy J. Altman (with Eric Kingson), San Francisco Chronicle, February 29, 2008.
Opinion: "Obama Will Renew Faith in Federal Programs," Nancy J. Altman (with Eric Kingson), Las Vegas Review-Journal, January 18, 2008.
Opinion: "Survivor Security," Nancy J. Altman, New York Times, November 21, 2001.
Regular contributions by Nancy J. Altman to Neiman Watchdog.
Regular contributions by Nancy J. Altman to Huffington Post.


"Social Security Works!: Why Social Security Isn’t Going Broke and How Expanding It Will Help Us All" (with Eric Kingson) (The New Press, 2015).

Calls for the expansion of the Social Security system and offers an antidote to the three-decade-long, billionaire-funded campaign to make Americans believe that this institution is destined to collapse. Argues that Social Security is a powerful program that can help stop the collapse of the middle class, lessen the pressure squeezing families from all directions, and help end the upward redistribution of wealth that has resulted in perilous levels of inequality.

"Mr. Social Security: The Extraordinary Contributions of Robert M. Ball" in Social Insurance and Social Justice: Social Security, Medicare, and the Campaign against Entitlements, edited by Leah Rogne, Carroll Estes, Brian R. Grossman, Brooke Hollister, and Erica Solway (Springer Publishing, 2009), xix-xxiv.

Highlights and celebrates the work of Altman’s late colleague Robert M. Ball, an advocate for social justice through social insurance policy reform.

"Social Security and Intergenerational Justice" George Washington Law Review 77, no. 5 (2009): 1383.

Discusses other scholarly arguments for intergenerational equity in social insurance; ultimately suggests a synthesis of prevalent ideas and proposes new solutions for closing the funding gap and protecting the rights of all generations.

"Social Security from the Great Society to 1980: Further Expansion and Rekindled Controversy" (with Theodore R. Marmor), in Conservatives and American Policy Development, edited by Brian J. Glenn and Steven M. Teles (Oxford University Press, 2009), 155-188.

Examines the role of conservatism in the Social Security policy setting during a time period otherwise often viewed from a predominantly liberal narrative frame.

"Protecting Social Security’s Beneficiaries: Achieving Balance without Benefit Cuts,"

Briefing Paper No. 206

, Economic Policy Institute, October 31, 2007.

Argues for the importance of maintaining and strengthening Social Security benefits, and points out reforms to achieve long-term financial balance without cutting benefits.

"Social Security and the Low-Income Worker" American University Law Review 56, no. 5 (2007): 1139-1161.

Asserts that Social Security is of particular importance to low-income Americans and presents a plan to eliminate the program’s long-range shortfall while continuing to support the most vulnerable members of society.

"The Battle for Social Security: From FDR’s Vision to Bush’s Gamble " (John Wiley & Sons, 2005).

Illuminates the politics and policy of the current struggle over Social Security in light of the program's compelling history and ingenious structure.