February 26, 2021

Bucks: How Would You Shore Up Social Security?

This week’s Your Money column discusses a proposal that would tinker with one of the most beloved features of Social Security: the cost-of-living adjustment.

The new index would rise more slowly over time, since it takes into account that people tend to change their buying habits when prices rise, substituting more expensive items with cheaper ones. Over time, that would amount to a cut in benefits — because monthly checks would not rise as quickly as they would with the current index.

Some Social Security advocates don’t think that’s the best way to bolster the program, whose reserves are now projected to be exhausted in 2036, a year earlier than last year’s estimate.

Advocates for the elderly also want to see the program addressed separately from the deficit discussions — as a self-financed program, it doesn’t contribute to the deficit.

How do you think the issue of Social Security solvency should be addressed? A new inflation-adjustment? Raising the cap on the pool of income that is subject to the payroll taxes that pay for the program? Raising the retirement age?

Article source: http://feeds.nytimes.com/click.phdo?i=84453567c43240fe06544d29486b4664

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