How can the status of Social Security Benefits be improved?

 

What alternatives exist to improve the status of Social Security benefits?

Four basic alternatives are being considered. These can be effective either individually or in combination. Social Security payroll taxes can be increased, Social Security benefits can be decreased, general revenues can be used for Social Security, and/or future benefits can be “pre-funded” either through voluntary personal savings accounts or direct investments of the trust funds.
What benefits might accrue if I were allowed to manage a portion of my Social Security account?
Self-directed investment of Social Security retirement funds offer the possibility of enhanced investment returns through investments in equities, bonds, and other financial instruments. Some feel that there would be an additional benefit of self-directed investment of Social Security contributions through the perception of ownership and responsibility accruing to the investor. On the other hand, opponents point out that there would be more risk associated with these investments of Social Security funds, and that contributors would risk losing their future Social Security retirement benefits. Also, Social Security currently pays benefits to retirees from contributions of current workers. Allowing current contributors to place their Social Security contributions into private investments would effectively remove that money from the Social Security system, so provision would have to be made to cover current payments from other tax revenues.

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