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Social Security

Thursday, October 9, 2014

A Call for Proposals to Improve the Social Security Disability Insurance Program

Marc Goldwein, Committee for a Responsible Budget

My colleagues and I at the CRFB have been working on an initiative, led by former Congressmen Earl Pomeroy and Jim McCrery, to identify and put forward meaningful improvements that could be made to the SSDI program. The McCrery-Pomeroy SSDI Solutions Initiative hopes to generate the types of reforms that could accompany reallocation, interfund borrowing, or (preferably) a comprehensive Social Security reform package.

As part of the initiative, we have spoken with program experts, advocates, and practitioners of all different perspectives and ideologies. These discussions confirmed what we already knew to be the case: the SSDI program provides a vital support structure for many workers with disabilities and their families. But they also identified several areas where the program and the government could be doing better.

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Tuesday, September 30, 2014

The Big Tax Increase Nobody Noticed

Dean Baker and Nicole Woo, Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR)

The 2011-12 Social Security payroll tax holiday ended in January 2013, which meant that the vast majority of working Americans faced a two percent cut in their take-home pay. 

Compared to past payroll tax increases, this was an extraordinarily large and sudden one. For example, from 1980 to 1990 the rate was increased gradually by a total of 2.24 percentage points; in no year did the rate rise by more than 0.72 percentage points, or just over one-third of the 2013 increase. (This combines the employer and employee side tax increases. In 2013, the whole tax increase was on the employee side.)

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Posted on September 30, 2014  |  6 comments  |  Add your comment
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Tuesday, May 20, 2014

A Response to Larry Kotlikoff

Larry Thompson, Founding Board Member, National Academy of Social Insurance

Larry Kotlikoff advocates replacing the current defined-benefit [Fixing Social Security, May 20, 2014], mostly-pay-as-you-go Social Security system with a system of funded individual accounts financed by mandatory contributions. This general approach was first adopted by Chile almost 35 years ago, and soon became popular among that set of economists most enamored with the universal superiority of markets as a mechanism for allocating resources. In the latter half of the 1990s, the approach was promoted internationally by the World Bank.

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Posted on May 20, 2014  |  14 comments  |  Add your comment
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Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Fixing Social Security

Laurence J. Kotlikoff, Boston University

Social Security is America's most cherished public policy program and one of the most successful. Today, and for several decades before, Social Security accounts for 55% of the annual income of U.S. households headed by adults ages 65 and older. The improved financial strength of our seniors has helped preserve a viable standard of living for many of them. In addition, it has reduced the financial and emotional stress of families trying to support multiple generations.

But past success is a poor yardstick for measuring the current viability of a social insurance program. Moreover, failure to identify current issues with Social Security and offer solutions can leave Congress under-informed and under pressure to produce a “quick fix.” No good can come of that.

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Posted on May 20, 2014  |  1 comment  |  Add your comment
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Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Social Security: Making the Most of Your Biggest Retirement Asset

Virginia P. Reno, National Academy of Social Insurance

The National Academy of Social Insurance joins more than 1,000 organizations nationwide during America Saves Week, February 24-28, with a public education initiative to help Americans boost their financial security. 

The Academy’s new toolkit, When to Take Social Security: It Pays to Wait, explains how waiting to take Social Security retirement benefits, if you can, will increase your monthly benefit by as much as 76 percent. Key messages are:

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Posted on February 26, 2014  |  3 comments  |  Add your comment
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