SEARCH BLOG: SOCIAL SECURITY
Not quite two years ago, I wrote about Social Security funding. I concluded that:
UPDATED SECTION: There is another way to address Social Security funding. By law, we all have to pay 6.2% [12.4% if self-employed] of gross income, up to a varying amount each year, into Social Security plus 2.9% of an unlimited amount into Medicare. Then, whether you need it or not, you start getting it beginning as early as 62-years old. But over 40 or 45 years of paying into the system, the government has gotten quite a chunk of change from you.
The simple solution:
The reasons this would work:
- Increase the early eligibility age from 62 to 66 and the full retirement benefits age from the current 67 to 70.
- Make mandatory retirement illegal before age 72 to ensure no one is forced to leave a job before retirement benefits are available
- Require legal residence/citizenship for eligibility
This would place any hardship on the aging population as opposed to those who receive benefits from ancillary programs attached to Social Security. Those could and should be reviewed separately.
- The funding problem is an actuarial issue, not a cash input one
- Eligibility has been expanded beyond manageable limits or reasonable limitsJust one other thought: delaying the time that social security benefits are available would serve as an incentive to 1) delay starting a working career to 2) become skilled/educated in something that they really want to do for a long time or 3) move to a country that offers nationalized everything like Britain (where you are granted all kinds of benefits, but you have to pull your own teeth to get them).
For example, for someone earning the $106,800 in 2009 -- $106,800 x 12.4% which is $13,243.20 plus 2.9% of $106,800 which is $3,079.80 ... a grand total of $16,320.00... exclusive of income tax. For someone earning $2 million a year, they contribute $58,000 PER YEAR just toward Medicare.Change the tax code so that you can elect to forego receiving social security payments... but in return the federal government will forego taxes on all pension and investment income received after the age of 67. This tax relief would also apply to spouses and heirs if they receive any part of your pension and investments upon your death.
At the current rate and current maximum [which won't stay the same, by the way] a person earning $106,800+ would pay $529,728 just toward the Social Security amount in 40 years... not counting the investment value of that amount which would take the total to well into 7 figures! [at just 4% annual compounding over 40 years that would be $1,372,360]
In essence, you get nothing from the government from all of the payments made by you and your employer... and you give nothing to the government once you have achieve the age of full Social Security benefits.
Fair is fair.