ERIC Number: ED224883
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1982
Reference Count: 0
Retirement and Social Security. National Issues Forum.
Cohen, Richard; And Others
The social security system in the United States is becoming increasingly unstable, as the amount of benefits paid to an ever larger number of retirees grows and the number of younger workers paying taxes to the system decreases. The problem will become especially acute in the years 2011 and after, as the members of the "baby boom" generation begin to retire. There are four ways to restore the solvency of the system. The first is to regard current eligibility rules and benefit levels that keep pace with changes in the cost of living as a commitment that must be met; the problem with this decision is how to pay for these benefits. A second option in resolving the nation's retirement dilemma is to reduce the level of benefits. Although this proposal meets with resistance, it may meet with less resistance if changes do not affect current recipients. A third choice is to change the eligibility rules so that fewer people qualify for benefits--or qualify for fewer years; this option would require far-reaching changes in attitudes to remove the incentives for older workers to retire. The fourth suggestion is that social security be made a voluntary system. Critics of this suggestion point out that if it were voluntary, the number of workers who wished to participate in the system might not be sufficient to make it work. Whichever option is selected, some choice must be made about how to provide for the needs of the large group of elderly Americans without imposing an unacceptable burden on younger workers. (KC)
Descriptors: Aging (Individuals), Federal Programs, Financial Needs, Financial Policy, Financial Support, Older Adults, Policy Formation, Public Policy, Retirement, Retirement Benefits
Domestic Policy Association, 5335 Far Hills Avenue, Dayton, OH 45429 ($3.00).
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Domestic Policy Association, Dayton, OH.
Authoring Institution: Public Agenda Foundation, New York, NY.
Identifiers: Social Security; Social Security Benefits
Note: For a related document see CE 034 469.