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No magic fixes for Social Security

This MarketWatch opinion piece by Alicia Munnell lays out the stark choices to fix the financial health of Social Security as benefit cuts or tax increases, with the author preferring the latter.  Charts are included to illustrate the options.  But Munnell rejects raising the retirement age by noting that is a benefit cut, even after acknowledging increasing longevity.  She did suggest it might make sense to change benefits for high income earners.  We at Social Security Report think it’s important to note that there is no reason to cement today’s Social Security formula (which is progressive) as a baseline and call any change to it a cut.  The formula was written in another century for another time and era when jobs were different and life expectancy was nearly 20 years lower than now.  Read Munnell’s full op-ed here.

The Association of Mature American Citizens (AMAC) believes Social Security must be preserved and modernized.  This can be achieved by making modest changes in cost of living adjustments and the retirement age, with no additional taxes on workers.  AMAC advocates for a bipartisan compromise, “The Social Security Guarantee Act,” taking selected portions of bills introduced by former Rep. Johnson (R-TX) and current Rep. Larson (D-CT) and merging them with the Association’s own well researched ideas.  One component is Social Security PLUS, a new, voluntary plan that would allow all earners to have more income available at retirement.  This component is intended to appeal especially to younger workers.  AMAC is resolute in its mission that Social Security be preserved and modernized and has gotten the attention of lawmakers in DC, meeting with a great many congressional offices and their staffs over the past several years.  Read AMAC’s plan here.



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