Social Work: Working For Social Security

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Social Work: Working For Social Security

Social Work: Working For Social Security

Table of Contents



Literature Review5

Demographics, Providing For Retirees, And Social Security Payment Limitations9

Proposed Modification10

Social Security As An Incentive To Stop Working15

Recommended Changes15

Extensions To The Proposal17



This paper presents an innovative proposal for modifying the Social Security benefit structure as part of our social development project. The purpose of the modification is to provide an incentive for people to remain in the work force for more years as well as help provide revenues needed to fund Social Security entitlement costs and, at the same time, increase employment, and help balance the federal budget.


This year, Social Security payments will exceed Social Security tax receipts. This signals the need to put Social Security on a more stable financial footing. The last time the issues of funding Social Security were addressed was 1983. Until very recently, Social Security tax receipts have exceeded payments and were expected to continue to do so until at least 2016. The Great Recession resulted in higher unemployment with a consequential significant drop in Social Security revenues. Therefore, Social Security funding needs to be addressed.

Discussion is already underway producing numerous ideas for putting Social Security back on a stable financial footing. Most of the ideas focus on some combination of revenue enhancement and benefit reductions, primarily for future retirees. Unfortunately, most of the ideas tend to ignore a much larger problem: the urgent need to increase economic growth and employment so everyone (including the rapidly increasing number of senior citizens) can enjoy increasing standards of living.

This paper details one way that fiscal policy pertaining to Social Security retirement benefits can be modified to provide workers with incentives that will:

1. Reward workers for continuing to work as they get older rather than retire.

2. Help lead to sustained, long-term economic growth.

3. Increase federal and state government tax revenues.

4. Position more Baby Boomers and other future retirees to enjoy financially secure retirements.

To start it is necessary to understand some basic facts about population demographics and Social Security benefits.

Literature Review

Perhaps no other modem social policy has fallen into a seeming black hole of impenetrability than Social Security and its related medical benefit program, Medicare. Far from the rarefied world of the actuary, the accountant, or the financial analyst, Social Security policy making touches upon our most deeply held values, including treatment of the young, the elderly and those with infirmities. By no means is this an American phenomenon, it should be noted. Significant social insurance policy making and reform efforts have taken place in Argentina (Kay, 2009) and China (Zhu, 2002), as well as in Germany, Japan, and the Republic of Korea (Campbell, Bcegami, and Kwon, 2009).

Yasar (2009) shrewdly associates this nexus of numbers and human values underlying policy making as an example of social mythmaking, reflected in both illiteracy and a mis-conceptualization of how Social Security works in America. The frequently heard outcry that future retirees will have to be carried on the backs of today's workers reveals, he asserts, a ...
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