Social Security Benefit Changes Under Individual Accounts: Offsets

April 15, 2005, 9:00 am 9:00 am
525 New Jersey Avenue, NW
Washington Court Hotel Ballroom
Washington, DC
United States
Contact Anita Cardwell
Many individual account proposals-including President Bush's-that shift Social Security taxes to the accounts include some type of benefit reduction in exchange for the accounts. These benefit reductions, called offsets, raise many questions. What are offsets and how are they likely to work? How would offsets affect spouse and survivors' benefits? How would offsets be calculated? What is the effect of individual account offsets on retirees' benefits, the Social Security trust funds, and on the budget?

Primer on Offsets
Joni Lavery, National Academy of Social Insurance

How to Make Offsets Work
David John, The Heritage Foundation

Unanswered Questions About Offsets and Family Benefits
Joan Entmacher, The National Women's Law Center

The Budget, Trust Funds, and Offsets
Paul Cullinan, Congressional Budget Office

Moderator: Bob Rosenblatt, former Los Angeles Times reporter and Senior Fellow, National Academy of Social Insurance