Our Social Security Program Continues to Evolve, But Some Things Do Not Change - GoBankingRates.com

It’s common knowledge these days that America’s Social Security program is presently locked into a trajectory that will lead it to insolvency in less than a decade. While there are many resolutions on the drawing board to avoid reaching that point, and while the program’s plight has been on lawmaker’s radar for many, many years, proposals to reform the program to recognize 21st Century demographics have not met with success; hence, the clock continues to wind down toward a 2033 catastrophe.

Meanwhile, it’s business as usual in the Social Security system, with some aspects of the program organically evolving each year. For example, benefits generally continue to grow via annual cost-of-living adjustments, and the proportion of women collecting benefits on their own work records continues to grow. At the same time, there are several bedrock provisions that do not typically change, and that must be weighed carefully by those aging into Social Security eligibility. Among them are monthly benefit reductions associated with beginning payments before full retirement age (FRA, now 67 for those born in 1960 or later), limitations on annual earnings for those drawing benefits before FRA, and the fact that up to 85% of one’s monthly benefit is subject to federal income tax using thresholds established decades ago. GoBankingRates.com Josephine Nesbit, in a post on their website, explores these and several other current factors that govern the payment of Social Security benefits. Read her post here.

Considering the future, keep in mind that the 118th Congress, as did the preceding congressional sessions, continues to see proposals to reform Social Security in the face of the insolvency dilemma. As an example of the leading thoughts on reforming Social Security, the Association of Mature American Citizens (AMAC, Inc.) believes Social Security must be preserved and modernized.  This can be achieved without tax increases by slight modifications to cost-of-living adjustments and payments to high income beneficiaries plus gradually increasing the full (but not early) retirement age.  AMAC Action, AMAC’s advocacy arm, supports an increase in the threshold where benefits are taxed and then indexed for inflation, and calls for eliminating the reduction in people’s benefits for those choosing to work before full retirement age.  AMAC is resolute in its mission that Social Security be preserved for current and successive generations and has gotten the attention of lawmakers in D.C., meeting with many congressional offices and staff over the past decade. 

Stay tuned to this website for updates on proposals to address the evolving Social Security crisis.

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