Preserving & Modernizing Social Security must be goal says AMAC
Scarcely a week goes by without a headline on how little Americans save for retirement and another on how Social Security’s long-term health is in peril.
Over 63 million Americans currently receive Social Security benefits. Demographic changes are challenging its long-term solvency, however. People are living longer, and working age people are having fewer children, meaning fewer payroll tax contributions.
AMAC’s Social Security Guarantee is designed to extend the program’s solvency with modest changes, including a gradual increase in full retirement age. In 84 years, it was changed once, and by just two years, despite an increase in life expectancy of 20 years.
A majority of retirees rely on Social Security as the largest income source, and for many, it is their only income source. AMAC believes there is an urgent need to help today’s workers save more for retirement.
Remember the famous poll some years ago stating, “more people surveyed among Generation X [now age 37-54] believe in UFOs than that Social Security will be there for them at retirement?” It was as shocking as recent polls showing Millennials favoring socialism.
AMAC has a Social Security PLUS plan that is in addition to, but not a replacement of, traditional Social Security. Neither big government nor employer mandate, it is a voluntary program for employees and employers. The goal is to provide additional retirement monies for all workers with access to the funds at age 62, the current early retirement age.
Specifics include employees as owners of the funds; no taxation to employee on growth or receipt of funds; no required withdrawals (like Roth IRA); employer contributions are tax deductible; employee contributions are after tax; employer contributions may be stopped or started at any time.
AMAC suggests 20% of funds be invested in guaranteed interest accounts or annuities and 80% in any approved investment (i.e. S&P 500 index). Investment choices would be similar to IRAs and 401k plans. Administration costs would be borne by providers offering plans.
A 23-year-old contributing $25/week in the first year and employer contributing $15/week, with both adding 4% annually thereafter, in the 80/20 mix suggested, would accumulate over $1 million by age 65.
While Social Security PLUS is not for current retirees, we believe it critical to successive generations to safeguard their futures. Who wouldn’t want to see their children and grandchildren postpone gratification in their younger years for the promise of a financially secure retirement?
If you believe individuals have a right to their own savings and to benefit from growth over time, please support Social Security PLUS. Visit https://amac.us/social-security/
Jeff Szymanski works in political communications for the Association of Mature American Citizens (AMAC), a senior benefits organization with over 2 million members.