Setting Public Policies

AARP’s Public Policy Development Process

The development of AARP’s public policy positions is central to AARP’s mission. AARP has updated its public policy development process to keep the organization at the vanguard of issues that shape the lives of Americans as they live and age, now and in the future.

The process for developing policy is overseen by AARP’s Board of Directors to ensure commitment to the organization’s mission and purpose. The Board includes members from a variety of professional and geographic backgrounds to obtain a range of viewpoints and perspectives, and to reflect the diversity of AARP’s membership.

The process of developing policy recommendations is facilitated by the Office of Policy Development and Integration, under the direction of the Chief Public Policy Officer. This includes extensive input and analysis of the views of AARP members and other people age 50 and older throughout the nation, as well as studying policy options to develop innovative and thoughtful solutions that address the needs of the 50+ population.  AARP staff and volunteers, as well as internal and external policy experts from across the country, contribute to the formulation of AARP’s policy.

Listening to Americans 50+

The policy development process capitalizes on AARP’s innovations as a “listening” organization in touch with our diverse membership through many different channels.

Over the last several years, AARP has significantly increased our focus on listening to the voices of the 50-plus, our members, and our volunteers across the country. AARP has offices in all 50 states, DCDefined contribution (DC) is a type of retirement savings plan in which employee and sometimes employers make contributions. Retirement benefit amounts depend on account accumulations over time. and the territories which are highly active in communities nation-wide. AARP has also enhanced its research capacity and regularly surveys our members and the 50 plus on key issues. In addition, AARP has expanded its presence and engagement on social media platforms as well as our real-time response capabilities allowing the organization to receive ongoing input and feedback from our members.

AARP members are a critical component of our policy development as are our volunteers from around the country who stand ready to provide rapid input to policy development.  In addition, we solicit the input of individual volunteers with knowledge and experience in any given area for feedback on specific policy issues we are considering. 

Staying in close touch with the interests and concerns of people age 50 plus allows us to quickly gather the views of a diverse cross-section of volunteers, members, and the public to inform our policy analysis and recommendations.

The AARP Public Policy Book

Every two years, AARP publishes its Policy Book and a companion Priorities Book to inform people where we stand.  In this edition, AARP has streamlined the Policy Book to provide greater clarity and easier access to our public policy positions.