Social Security - University of Vermont

Social Security - University of Vermont

Social Security POLS 21: The American Political System Types of social welfare programs Means-tested Social insurance A Brief History of Social Security Beginning in the mid-19th century, four important demographic changes occurred that rendered the traditional system of economic security unworkable: The Industrial Revolution The urbanization of America

The disappearance of the extended family A marked increase in life expectancy Male and Female Life Expectancy, 1900-2080 Age, in years 90 80 70 60 50 40 Men Women

30 *2080 *2070 *2060 *2050 *2040 *2030 *2020 *2010

2000 1990 1980 1970 1960 1950 1940 1930 1920

1910 1900 * Projection How Does Social Security Work? Today, about 62 million Americans receive over $955 billion in Social Security benefits every year. The current age for full retirement benefits is 65, but that is being gradually increased to 67. Those benefits are paid for by over 171 million workers who are taxed at 7.65% of their earnings (the familiar FICA on your pay

stub, which stands for the Federal Insurance Contributions Act), up to a maximum of $127,200 to fund the system. How Much is a Social Security Benefit? The amount of a Social Security retirement benefit is based on several things: How much time you spent in the workforce; How much money you made while working; Your age when you start receiving benefits; An Impending Crisis?

We are living longer and healthier lives. 76 million Baby Boomersthose born after World War II, between 1946 and 1964 began retiring in 2010. Key Dates According to the Social Security Trustees Annual Report, here is a summary of key dates to keep in mind: 2010 Payroll taxes coming into Social Security were insufficient to cover all promised benefits. The SSA began to draw on the interest

earned by the Social Security Trust Fund to help pay full benefits. 2022 Incoming payroll taxes plus interest income from the Trust Fund will be insufficient to pay all benefits. The principal will be tapped. 2035 Principal will be exhausted, but revenues will cover a proportion of promised benefits. Options for Reform Cut benefits across the board, or just

for the wealthy. Raise the payroll tax across the board, or just for the wealthy. Raise or eliminate the maximum amount of taxable earnings. Raise the age at which retirees become eligible for full benefits. Raise the rate of return by investing the trust fund more aggressively . Add to the trust fund by diverting funds from other areas. Privatize Social Security so that individual workers can contribute to (and manage) their own accounts. Grow the economy.

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