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Should Social Security Raise Its Retirement Age?

Social Security is an essential part of how people make ends meet in retirement. But some business leaders, including the CEOs of AT&T (NYSE: T  ) , Caesars Entertainment (NASDAQ: CZR  ) , and several other major corporations, believe raising retirement age would save the program from financial trouble in the future.

In the following video, Dan Caplinger, the Fool's director of investment planning, takes a closer look at the debate over raising Social Security's retirement age. He points out that life expectancies have risen, leading some to believe that raising the full retirement age from 67 to 70 is consistent with its original intended purpose. Moreover, he notes research that says that such a move could eliminate about a third of the program's expected financial shortfall. However, opponents of the move argue that the distributional impacts of raising the retirement age disproportionately affect the poor. Similar percentage reductions in benefits make a bigger impact on low-income recipients' standards of living than wealthier recipients.

Finally, Dan looks at the effect of such a move on other benefits, discussing research that shows survivors' and disability benefits wouldn't change much, but spousal benefits could be adversely affected by a rise in the retirement age.

Learn more about Social Security and your retirement
To protect yourself against politicians attacking your retirement, you really need to know the ins and outs of how Social Security works. You can get all the information you need in our brand-new free report, "Make Social Security Work Harder For You," in which our retirement experts give their insight on making the key decisions that will help ensure a more comfortable retirement for you and your family. Click here to get your copy today.


Read/Post Comments (95) | Recommend This Article (17)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

  • Report this Comment On October 05, 2013, at 8:04 PM, MissDisplaced wrote:


    It's already been raised one (oh thanks SO much Ronnie) and it's still broke. My generation has not one iota of hope that we will ever see a penny that we've been paying in all our lives.

    Raise the retirement age, when no company will HIRE ANYONE OVER 50? Are they nuts?

  • Report this Comment On October 05, 2013, at 8:11 PM, iamlard wrote:

    In order for SS to truly be on solid financial footing, two things need to happen. First is to remove the limit on income from which social security taxes are withheld. Second is to increase the retirement age.

  • Report this Comment On October 05, 2013, at 8:26 PM, tkell31 wrote:

    About 77% of 20 year olds will live to 70...that's probably still too many, raise it to 75.

  • Report this Comment On October 05, 2013, at 8:32 PM, bigsunday wrote:

    The answer is simple. HR 25 and S.122 fully funds both social security and disability. Call your Congressman and demand he co-sponsor HR 25. Call both your Senators and demand they co-sponsor S.122.

  • Report this Comment On October 05, 2013, at 8:40 PM, maestrojon wrote:

    Why don't we stop beating around the bush and just raise the freaking SS retirement age to 700. It's a win-win. The government gets our money and never has to pay it because we all die before we can claim the benefit. Well, maybe that's a lose for us.

  • Report this Comment On October 05, 2013, at 8:43 PM, beachwalker65 wrote:

    This is an insult to everyone my age. 65. All these years after paying into the system, more lies. How about SS find all the people who are committing fraud against SS. I personally know three younger, much younger, people who are doing just that. If I know three, then I'm sure there are tons more. I see it on Judge Judy where even she questions why people are receiving SS. That's not to say I only watch those types of shows. But fraud is prevalent in our government agencies who hand out welfare, etc. Fix that!

  • Report this Comment On October 05, 2013, at 8:43 PM, EK1949 wrote:

    It would be better to lower it to 64 with early retirement at 60. We need fewer workers now and fewer still in the future so earlier retirement would make way for younger people who need jobs. If it takes less workers for optimum output the question of how many workers it takes to support more retirees is already answered.

  • Report this Comment On October 05, 2013, at 8:45 PM, Barmil wrote:

    Why is it the rules have to change. I Was paying into this tax with hopes of being able to enjoy some time before I kick the bucket, Then along comes the government and see a pot of gold and it can't let this golden goose go by with out stealing from it and now they have depleted it to the point of were they can't pay it back so we change the rules to suite in order to stretch it out so they cover their butt.

  • Report this Comment On October 05, 2013, at 8:45 PM, LadySidhe wrote:

    If they keep raising it, I won't be eligible until I'm dead.

  • Report this Comment On October 05, 2013, at 8:48 PM, CAsouth wrote:

    As unpopular politically this may be the reality is Social Security is not something that can last. It just wasn't designed for this many people living so long. Before the beast begins to fester it should be put down. Anyone under the age of 40 should stop having social security taxed to them with the option for a majority refund of all SS taxed paid to date. Everyone else will be grandfathered into the program like nothing happened and will receive SS benefits at the raised aged of 75.

    But of course this that won't happen. SS will continued for decades with bandaids like raised age, higher taxes, and cuts in amounts given until finally someone with balls kills the beast.

  • Report this Comment On October 05, 2013, at 8:50 PM, rdkingrider2001 wrote:

    It wouldn't suprise me. Politicians get rich off the taxpayer, force the taxpyer to have inferior health insurance while the have the best health care plan the taxpayers can get them. Now they want to take social security taxes out of your weekly paycheck and tell you to work til you are dead, So that the working man gets nothing. This country would be better off if we dropped a bomb on Washington DC.

  • Report this Comment On October 05, 2013, at 8:51 PM, superroy wrote:

    If you people in washington would keep your money grubbing hands out of my Social Security fund I would not have to worry about not having enough to get by on until I die. You nuckleheads should mind your own business.

  • Report this Comment On October 05, 2013, at 8:54 PM, jj6969 wrote:

    How can a CEO of a company thats making 20 million dollars a year be qualified to say anything pertaining to Social Security. They dont need it, so what do they have invested in the issue to begin with. Those people are completely out of touch with the real world and I personally dont want them involved in decisions that could determine what I eat and where I sleep. They dont have to worry about where they sleep, so why should they even have a opionion at all. Mine your on business and leave us working people alone. Thank you

  • Report this Comment On October 05, 2013, at 8:54 PM, toomuchgas wrote:

    The should keep raising it so they'll never have to pay what they promised.

  • Report this Comment On October 05, 2013, at 8:55 PM, shirlsview wrote:

    20, 30, 40 and even 50 something's....if you think you will be able to retire and live on SS you are sorely mistaken. Put the maximum amount allowable away in a retirement account and then be sure to save an additional 10% At Least. SS is a Ponzi scheme and once the boomers have sucked it dry it will topple on itself. Your own money will always be your own money. Actually I have started to just tuck money in the mattress because that is the only thing that seems safe. Unless they manage to make our currency utterly worthless..............

  • Report this Comment On October 05, 2013, at 8:56 PM, NewJeffCT wrote:

    Social Security has plenty of money to continue paying out full benefits for another 30 years or so. After that, it would still continue to pay out, but with reduced payments. SS could be funded for another 100 years if we got rid of the cap on income.

    And, Social Security has not contributed a penny to our national debt - in fact, it's helped finance much of our debt when politicians borrowed from the SS surplus.

  • Report this Comment On October 05, 2013, at 8:57 PM, LadySidhe wrote:

    How about the politicians don't get paid their full salaries for the rest of their lives (after retirement)? I'll bet that would help with the "shortfall."

    I have to agree with's hard enough for a middle-aged individual, with a college degree, to get a job in today's market, and companies tend to hire younger people anyway.

    Computerization and mechanization have been causing job cuts since manufacturers found that they didn't need to pay people to do a job. By the time many middle-aged people are eligible, who knows how many jobs will no longer need humans to do them?

  • Report this Comment On October 05, 2013, at 8:58 PM, joybubba wrote:

    How many billions of dollars have been paid into social security over the last 70 plus years? How many billions of dollars did the federal government borrow from Social Security to fund some of their pet projects and pay their lobbyists?

    Congress must pay back every penny they "Stole" from hard working people, then there would be no shortfall.

    It is bad enough that if you have to take an early retirement because you can no longer work but don't qualify for state assistance, that they give you the least amount of money possible and then start whittling away at our benefits which we rightfully earned. Keep your cotton pickin' hands off of OUR money.

  • Report this Comment On October 05, 2013, at 8:58 PM, RonBrotherton wrote:


  • Report this Comment On October 05, 2013, at 9:00 PM, SSBN620 wrote:

    The argument is moot. Our SS Trust fund is neck deep in US Treasury Bonds. We're $17 TRILLION in debt, and if we manage not to default on those bonds in 12 days, it will still happen within a year or two. I challenge anyone to research how long it would take to pay back all that debt - it's NEVER going to happen. If you're under 60, plan on never getting a penny from SS. You'll be lucky to get 10 cents on the dollar. That's how bankruptcy works.

  • Report this Comment On October 05, 2013, at 9:01 PM, edgilbride wrote:

    why is the government giving SS checks to the mexican population when they cross the border and are not even citizens, and giving them SS #s. Im tired of being santa claus and taking care of people who haven't earned it.....I had a bird feeder in my yard and I thought it was nice, until after awhile it was nothing but chirping all night long and bird poop all over my yard and car, got rid of the bird feeder and now its nice and quiet and I have my yard back nice and clean.....get the point!! Make them work for it and you will see how long they will stick around, and when they have to feed their own babies you will see how many they will produce....this goes for EVERYBODY who lives off the system

  • Report this Comment On October 05, 2013, at 9:08 PM, mickmel wrote:

    that's nice raising the retirement age if you've worked behind a desk all your life. but what about us that have worked outside in the heat and cold temps lifting climbing and more for forty years hell im fifty five yo and I was looking forward to retiring at sixty five now seventy are you kidding me what a slap in the face for working hard and doing everything right I hope there is a heaven

  • Report this Comment On October 05, 2013, at 9:18 PM, Fiat500S wrote:

    No, changing the rules again to screw anyone that ever did an honest day of work isn't right. Who can retire anyway with these kooks running the nation ?

  • Report this Comment On October 05, 2013, at 9:28 PM, altha2008 wrote:

    it is the right age. They need to do some things to secure it better.

    First, make all the other government agencies who

    too money from SS to pay it back.

    Second, stop illegals from crossing the boarder and getting it.

    Third, let people on SSDI and SSI work without

    the risk of losing their social security.

    let them make some money.

  • Report this Comment On October 05, 2013, at 9:37 PM, Paulson545 wrote:

    Don't raise it, do away with the early social security age of 62. Let everyone wait and collect at 65.

  • Report this Comment On October 05, 2013, at 9:41 PM, MindyBaker wrote:

    My social security money goes to pay people with "psychological problems" that have "prevented" them from working a day in their lives. They waste my money on SSI. I have cerebral palsy but work 40 hrs/wk to pay for these bums. And now th government wants to take part of my benefit !! Make the bums work and the problem goes away.

  • Report this Comment On October 05, 2013, at 9:45 PM, samual1972 wrote:


  • Report this Comment On October 05, 2013, at 9:47 PM, flybymike2002 wrote:

    Wow, and Canada's FULL RETIREMENT at age 55 is doing JUST FINE !

  • Report this Comment On October 05, 2013, at 9:48 PM, bakatcha1961 wrote:

    an older person has enough trouble doing their job until retirement age without raising it The older you get the more your coordination decreases. I personally work with a 62 year old and if he makes it to 65 without an accident I will be suprised.A person that works his whole life pays in his whole life....quit taking the money that person pays in and distributing it in other places. that is the whole problem

  • Report this Comment On October 05, 2013, at 9:51 PM, ArMarineNG wrote:

    Have the government replace all the money that has been "borrowed" from it and even require them to also pay interest on the loans. Then stop using it for everything except what it was placed in there for and "IF" the age is raised, make sure that all everyone that is already working and paying into it, still receives their retirement at the age it was set "when they started working." I started working and paying in when I was 17 years old. The age for retirement got raised before I got to the age to draw and I had to keep working for those years. Also stop the people from drawing off of social security when they do not deserve it or are not even citizens in some cases.

  • Report this Comment On October 05, 2013, at 9:52 PM, robinscas wrote:

    We have numerous congress members using SS revenue to pay for their pet projects. How about charging these politicians for stealing from everyone's SS saving? If bank executives did what our elected officials are doing, they would be locked up for life. These "politicians" that have been elected by us need to be held accountable.

  • Report this Comment On October 05, 2013, at 9:53 PM, genova4 wrote:

    I paid into social security for 54 years. What I am receiving is my money plus interest not someone else money. In my estimation that was my private account. The only problem with social security is they stole our money starting with the Johnson Adm. In my world that is embezzlement. The money should only be given to those who paid into it and their families.

    If that money from it's inception was placed in secure investments that the government could not touch and with interest and compounding you would have enough for the next 100 years. Do the math. I am a numbers man.

    If my pay stub states deduction for social security then that is all that money should be spent for and not put into the general fund. The government should be made to give it all back with interest retroactively.

    It is very morbid to think about raising the retirement age. In other words you want people to die before receiving any. Isn't the whole idea of life is to live as long as you can and enjoy the fruits of your labor.

    There are millions of people who paid into the system for years and died before they could collect. Just Where is all that money.

    You are being fed a load of bull on social security. Do some thinking and research on the subject and just don't take anyones word for it. Especially a politician

  • Report this Comment On October 05, 2013, at 9:59 PM, ams511 wrote:

    What is never mentioned is that on average women live longer than men. So women should either: 1) Pay more into the system; 2) retire latter, or 3) receive less benefits. Politically, raising this issue would be suicide. However, private annuities take gender into account when pricing benefits.

  • Report this Comment On October 05, 2013, at 9:59 PM, Konichiwasan wrote:

    NO! The Congress needs to make it a TRUST FUND to LOCK OUT THE Idiots who STEAL FROM IT TO BALANCE THE BUDGET! The Treasury is constantly Taking money from it and leaving IOU's to balance the budget. Secretary Of Treasury had to go in last year to put money back to keep it from faltering from lack of funds, CHECK YOUR HISTORY- Many times in the past congress has borrowed/stolen money from it to pay on deficits ..

  • Report this Comment On October 05, 2013, at 10:00 PM, Philgumbo wrote:

    If the crooks in Washington had not robbed from and mismanaged these funds(you can thank the democrats for pushing for and allowing this), we would not even have to have this discussion now, would we? There are those of us out here, whose jobs have quite a physical nature to them, I don't believe I personally will be able to do what I do now, when I'm in my sixties and seventies I should be able to collect what is due at 67, should I choose to do so. I like to work and be productive, but who knows what shape we'll bein at this time. Ether way, social security is actually worse than a pozi scheme, because you are not forced to buy into a ponzi scheme. You are with SS, even though these crooks have mismanaged and stolen billions from it over the years.

  • Report this Comment On October 05, 2013, at 10:04 PM, rcmpvern wrote:

    Is there an over-abundance of good jobs for young people right now?


    You can free up lots of jobs by lowering the Social Security retirement age.

  • Report this Comment On October 05, 2013, at 10:06 PM, crash4642 wrote:

    Were is the interest on the money I paid in go 30 years x $20 per week plus % =?????

  • Report this Comment On October 05, 2013, at 10:07 PM, digeteedog wrote:

    Raising the age is not the answer. Why do the politicians in this country always attack the elderly and their rightful benefits to cut corners? I have a suggestion for them. How about we cut all of the politicians three figure salaries seeing they can't get the job done and give it to social security and other programs that desperately need the money? Its just not right and its just not fair to the people that have worked hard all their lives. Politicians on capital hill don't care because they won't have to soully rely on these federally funded programs when they are ready to retire. They don't have to worry how they are going to manage paying their bills or how they are going to pay for their prescriptions they desperately need because they are on a fixed income. Maybe we should stop spending billions of dollars on wars and immigrants and take care of the people here at home for a change. If Washington wants to cut back maybe we should look at cutting their salaries. I think everyone in this country should be registered to vote and send Washington a good message. Lets put people in office that can get the job done and not take from the people who need it the most. This makes me sick!

  • Report this Comment On October 05, 2013, at 10:07 PM, jcphenry wrote:

    The rules on eligibility for disability should be strengthened and made uniform on a national standard. As it is, judges around the country can rule on their personal whims, which leads to cases where in some communities, a shockingly large percentage of working age adults are collecting social security disability payments. Those who are ruled disabled should face regular--and I mean at least once yearly--comprehensive reviews of their disability status, including physical and psychological examinations to determine whether they should still receive disability benefits. No more "one and done" determinations. And not having convenient similar job opportunities to a previously held job is not a reason for being ruled disabled.

    I don't disagree with raising the retirement age, but the SSDI payment system just plain stinks with waste, fraud and abuse.

  • Report this Comment On October 05, 2013, at 10:13 PM, GARY618 wrote:

    why is it that when ever the government is caught with the hand in the till Social Security is suddenly in grave danger of collapse and needs more (management) by the very people who caused the financial crisis in the first place

  • Report this Comment On October 05, 2013, at 10:13 PM, micahrp wrote:

    Why not tie retirement age to a demographic statistic that will reflect how the population itself is changing overall?

    I would suggest double the US median age that is found by the United States Census Bureau. This would reflect many things about the state of the US such as how long the population is living, how the population age is distributed and so forth. It may also lead us to make wiser decisions about allowing actions which would turn the age distribution pyramid into something more closely resembling an age column or even an inverted pyramid found in countries like Japan.

    The question I would like answered about the "Social Security Old Age and Disability Insurance Act" (as it is fully titled) is why do we charge for this insurance differently than other insurances are charged for? If costs were tied to individual actuarial tables based upon expected payout same as car or health or other insurances maybe this would allay the concerns of many who point to Social Security as a wealth redistribution program.

    Maybe a review of the Acts Title benefits are in order also (Title II lists them). .. ok that one is a dig on my part against all the people who keep claiming that Social Security is "not an entitlement" when by its own definition it is exactly that.

  • Report this Comment On October 05, 2013, at 10:14 PM, Dadw5boys wrote:

    JP Morgan said of Social Security Payments to the elderly, " I don't care if you give them $1,000 a month if they will spend every penny back in to the economy each month " ! That was back in the 1940's !

    JP Morgan knew how the Federal Reserve Central Banking System works and debts creates money then money spent creates taxes collected to pay the debts. But he was the last great American Bank a real Patriot ! Not one of these Bankers who are ready to move to another Country at the drop of a hat.

  • Report this Comment On October 05, 2013, at 10:20 PM, Dadw5boys wrote:

    You should be demanding the the Interest Rates be raised to at least 6 %. When the Interest Rate is 6% of higher the Social Security Trust Fund makes money off the U.S. Treasury notes they hold ! Makes more money than they pay out each month. That excess is what they grew dependent on and over spending that Reagan did was meant to bankrupt Social Security and $3.2 Trillion in Special Bonds he placed in the Trust Fund have been due and payable for a while now.

  • Report this Comment On October 05, 2013, at 10:22 PM, ComeOnNow78 wrote:

    Many people fail to see that no only do you contribute, but the employer puts in too. For example for 2013 you pay 6.2% up to $113,700 in SS taxable wages. So if you did make that much you put in $7049.40 and your employer would put in the same amount of $7049.40. For one year $14,098.80 was just placed into SS for you, the taxable wage limit increases almost every year. If you just take that amount times 30 years, you get $422,964. I know I used a highly compensated example, but do you think SS would ever pay out that much to that person through retirement. The government is stealing from all of us.

  • Report this Comment On October 05, 2013, at 10:23 PM, Dadw5boys wrote:

    Insurance Companies would freak out if they had to pay out Disability Payments like Social Security does and Medicare to pay medical bills !!!

    Social Security is the BEST DEAL going anywhere. Go and price it on the market and see !!

    Americans helping Americans is the best way always will be !!!

  • Report this Comment On October 05, 2013, at 10:26 PM, crash4642 wrote:

    Insures company’s are running the government -car -heath-home -dental-workmen’s comp -liability-unemployment-malpractice-disability - credit cards-and ss

  • Report this Comment On October 05, 2013, at 10:26 PM, Lovey126 wrote:

    They wanna work us right into our graves. I truly believe their goal is to make us work until we die so they won't have to give us what we've worked for all of our adult lives.

  • Report this Comment On October 05, 2013, at 10:26 PM, Dadw5boys wrote:

    Lower the retirement age would be the best for all Americans ! More jobs when those struggling to even walk can retire in peace. And more money being spent into the economy by those who retire !

  • Report this Comment On October 05, 2013, at 10:28 PM, Ceaseless wrote:

    Here is the reality of the situation...they will continue to raise the age, lower benefits and raise the amount of Social Security taxes withheld until we are dead, starving and broke. I mean the name of the program really says it all. Fool's, it is Society providing Security for the elite... "Social Security".

  • Report this Comment On October 05, 2013, at 10:43 PM, porter57 wrote:

    seriously,who is kidding who? im only 57 and in my job,ill be lucky if i make it to sixty two,much less sixty five. it can be physically demanding and frankly,after thirty years on the same job,im not very sure about making it another ten years before i just cant do it anymore. raising the age is not a very realistic answer. raising the amount that can be taxed is. does anyone really think people are going to be able to work till they are 75 years old? it really just seems like a way to shield high earners again. frankly,i dont think there should be a limit on social security tax,you should have to pay the same percentage regardless of how much you earn. that is the only thing that will save the system.

  • Report this Comment On October 05, 2013, at 10:55 PM, herky46q wrote:

    Even if the age of full benefits is raised, I believe there is still the option of taking it at a reduced amount at a younger age. It is amusing reading all the outrage in the comments. Maybe the Fool can resurrect some past Social Security commentaries to clear up any misconceptions.

  • Report this Comment On October 05, 2013, at 11:07 PM, jsparks53 wrote:

    why is the problem always how much we're paying out and not how much it cost's to pay the money out we have too many government employee's who we pay better than any of them could make in the private sector when we talk about government spending let's start with how efficiently we spend what we have

  • Report this Comment On October 05, 2013, at 11:35 PM, Momob2011 wrote:

    With all that have been employed over the decades, & SS taken out mandatory, then consider how many died before they could receive any, & their spouse could only claim 1 (her/his), can someone from the gov tell me where OUR money went? Fix that, the agreement when we started being raped was 62/65, now it's been raised. Already 1 breach of contract, why should I be willing for another? And yes, I know ppl are getting it that are not "disabled" My ex is a paraplegic, & he's been employed for 35 yrs! Now how do these young ppl get it, being "mental"? Find them a job for mental ppl! Yet they can walk, talk, socialize just fine!!! There must be something they can do, other than drink/drugs/ & collect a check. Now as for money, instead of raping us again/more, how about all those in WA DC living on large 6 figures, & those "for life" & most of those having other income, take some serious cuts? Where is anyone's head to think even the max on SS is a living, while they're voting on our lives in the 6 fig tax bracket!!?? (& some have the gall to call it a benefit!) Lastly, I've got NOOOOO idea who started it, OR WHY, ANY NONE CITIZEN GETTING ANY BENEFITS!! We have to work for unemployment, SS (gov imposed savings account), since when can an illegal get welfare or anything else?? So there are A LOT of options to work on, instead of raping us, the working citizens, again!

  • Report this Comment On October 05, 2013, at 11:40 PM, Momob2011 wrote:

    Also, for someone making 6 figures, can they really "get" what "affordable" health care would be, when they don't pay for any????? Or make double 6 fig incomes?? Seriously, they are the ones offering me "affordable" income??

  • Report this Comment On October 06, 2013, at 12:13 AM, randydevinney wrote:

    When the program started paying monthly benefits in 1940 there were over thirty workers paying FICA taxes for every one person on social security. Now it is 3 to 1.

    FICA is a welfare program as determined in the Supreme Court in 1937; that is the only reason it was judged constitutional. It is a safety net, not an entitlement and was never intended to be collected by everyone who reaches retirement age.

  • Report this Comment On October 06, 2013, at 12:15 AM, Thomray67 wrote:

    No, do not raise the age, just eliminate the cap on payroll deduction.

  • Report this Comment On October 06, 2013, at 12:34 AM, ShamrockRAILROAD wrote:

    raise the percentage and there will be more money. raise the age if they have too.

    it makes no difference to mean because I will not be collecting SS.

    Perhaps if politicians weren't so concerned about stealing from RR Retirement and figuring out ways to keep SS going then maybe SS wouldn't be so broke.

    they should of just followed the mold of RR Retirement that's why our Retirement age is still 60 and our benefits are almost double SS benefits.

  • Report this Comment On October 06, 2013, at 12:44 AM, mathisje wrote:

    Fully funding social security in can be done by raising full retirement one year, a small increase in payroll (1-1.5%), and one of several other tweaks (like full taxing SS instead of 85%). Nothing drastic has to happen, except something does have to happen.

  • Report this Comment On October 06, 2013, at 12:59 AM, scrumrob wrote:

    This is another inaccurate report about Social Security. Social Security is fully funded and always has been. What is approaching is the point at which the inflow from Social Security taxes no longer produces a surplus followed by the point at which inflows no longer equal outflows. At that point, Social Security will need to start cashing in what amounts to the savings bonds it has been buying with the surplus as required by law since its inception in the 1930s. These are essentially the same debt instruments that many other investors have bought for decades. When Social Security presents those notes for reimbursement, the U.S. Treasury is own the hook for honouring the debt obligation. What Congress wants to do is prevent Social Security from cashing a lot of treasury notes by reducing benefits to delay that day.

    This is largely due to the size of the baby boom generation. Think of it as the adult deer swallowed by the python. Eventually, the adult deer will be digested (die off), but until it does, Social Security will have to cash in those treasury notes. The boomers have paid for the preceding generations to continue to receive current benefits and for their trouble, they will get shafted because of a lot of stupid choices by Congress and in particular the Republicans. This all assumes that the Republican Tea Party doesn't complete its mission of crippling the U.S. economy by refusing to raise the debt ceiling.

  • Report this Comment On October 06, 2013, at 1:12 AM, daguilarjr wrote:

    Isn't this terrible. I believe that if you've worked all your life, then you deserve to receive your benefits when ever you need them, especially if your'e over 60 years old. If this Country really wants to save money, then, they should put the focus on people receiving welfare and those credit like EBT cards that allow them to pull cash to buy beer and lotto tickets.These people should get their butts to work, and stop ripping this Country from people like me that pay our taxes so we can have a better life. Wake up government agencies that are giving these benefits out to people that are just to lazy to work and stop giving tax payers money away.

  • Report this Comment On October 06, 2013, at 1:13 AM, duelles wrote:

    Social security, which I have been collecting for the past three years, should not exist. It is abhorrent human failure to make nice, nice. It is a pass through tax on hard working people. It is a bizarre cost shift that only an idiot nanny government could come up with. Dumb!

  • Report this Comment On October 06, 2013, at 1:21 AM, doedlo wrote:

    I work with "at-risk " boys. Almost always these boys most common trait is that they don't have a father that works full time living in the home. At least half of these boys are on disability for "emotional or psychological reasons". Often their parent(s) are as well. These boys will probably be on so called disability the rest of their lives. Yet are attending regular school classes often getting good grades even playing on sports teams. I often hear boys comparing with one another how much they are given of their disability check each month for an allowance. Something is very wrong with this system. All new disability cases should have benefit eligibility guidelines strengthened and all current cases should be reviewed every 3 to 5 years.

  • Report this Comment On October 06, 2013, at 1:27 AM, duelles wrote:

    As a carpenter, I worked in a hard labor intensive situation. I retired at 58 because I used sweat equity to improve my house and sold prior to the crash. There is no way I could have continued the work I did until 67 or 70. The government had no right to garnisheed wages for there tax/ insurance program which in 1937 gave retirement benefits to 65 year olds. The life expectancy was 61! It was a scam then and a scam now. Doubled down on with disability pay thrown in. Dumb! Really dumb! End it!

  • Report this Comment On October 06, 2013, at 2:24 AM, wmvernay wrote:

    It's like insurance "coverage" is, a net full of holes (high deductables) if they even cover something. SSI took my late wifes earnings her whole working life and like many who die in their mid-late 50s, the govt. keeps every penny.

    No!! Do NOT raise it any further. Like Unemplyment insurance, raise the caps for more money from high earners who get a break. The govt spends all those many $Billions (from dead citizens) and borrows more too from SSI and wants to raise the debt limit again and not reduce Congress pay. Do that and the above and cut back elsewhere, like govt. pensions going untouched.

  • Report this Comment On October 06, 2013, at 3:42 AM, generalshithawk wrote:

    Social Security should lower its retirement age to 65 and we should use some good ideas to get our budget worked on so its not messed up!

  • Report this Comment On October 06, 2013, at 3:56 AM, msperfection59 wrote:

    That's about the dumbest thing I ever heard anyone who's in their 30s and 40s now don't care majority of you out there are bleeding heart liberals. I plan on enjoying life and travel, spend time with my family and enjoy being with my Grandchildren. I have been working since I was 14 I expect my SSI in the next 5 years. Got a problem with that get out of this country

  • Report this Comment On October 06, 2013, at 4:33 AM, BitterBob999 wrote:

    @CAsouth apparently doesn't understand how SS works. If you allow under 40's to stop paying in right now, then a lot of people currently receiving SS will lose their checks.

    The people working today are paying for those that are collecting SS checks today. If you all of a sudden reduce the amount of money going into SS then that same amount gets taken out of the current distribution pool. In other words, for every $1 you lose in under 40 contributions someone 67+ loses a dollar from their check.

  • Report this Comment On October 06, 2013, at 5:42 AM, Davsan1 wrote:

    Should Social Security Raise Its Retirement Age?

    Nope. The "gov't" needs to stop using Social Security as a "cash cow" every time they need money.

  • Report this Comment On October 06, 2013, at 7:25 AM, sandan123 wrote:

    Social Security should maintain the retirement age of 65 and do three things:

    1. Tax the wealthy more and give them less.

    2. Keep the government's grubby fingers off of the SS funds and allow them to accrue interest.

    3. Keep Republicans away, far away, from anything resembling benefits for the poor and needy!

  • Report this Comment On October 06, 2013, at 7:26 AM, mitrajo wrote:

    Here's a real solution! GOVT NEEDS TO STOP GIVING OUR SOCIAL SECURITY AWAY TO THOSE THAT DID NOT PUT IN TO THE SYSTEM AND WE WILL HAVE PLENTY WHEN WE RETIRE :)) stop going around the bushes and open your eyes of what's happening to our SS.

  • Report this Comment On October 06, 2013, at 8:15 AM, peckbill wrote:

    “Well, the truth is...ah, shoot, well; we all know there's Washington's math problem. Alan Sloan in recent Newsweek says he spends 150%. What we've been doing, Mr. Chairman, in all reality, is taken a hundred billion out of the Social Security Trust Fund, transferring it over to the spending column, and spending it. Our friends to the left here are getting their tax cuts, we getting our spending increases, and hollering surplus, surplus, and balanced budget, and balanced budget plans when we continue to spend a hundred billion more than we take in.

    That's the reality, and I think that you and I, working the same side of the street now, can have a little bit of success by bringing to everybody's attention this is all intended surplus. In other words, when we passed the Greenspan Commission Report, the Greenspan Commission Report only had Social Security in 1983 a two hundred million surplus. It's projected to have this year a 117 million surplus. I've got the schedule; I'll ask to put in the record the CBO report: 117, 126, 130, 100, going right through to 2008 over the ten year period of 186 billion surplus. That was intended; this is dramatic about all these retirees, the baby boomers. But we foresaw that baby boomer problem; we planned against that baby boomer problem. Our problem is we've been spending that particular reserve, that set-aside that you testify to that is so necessary. That's what I'm trying to get this government back to reality, if we can do that.

    We owe Social Security 736 billion right this minute. If we saved 117 billion, we could pay that debt down, and have the wonderful effect on the capital markets and savings rate. Isn't that correct? Thank you very much, Sir. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.”

    The above explains how the lack of control takes advantage of the federal money. As of 2013 the federal government owes 2.6 trillion dollars to the Old Age and Survivors Insurance trust fund (Social Security) plus an additional 140 billion dollars for the disability trust fund. Here is the kicker; Congress keeps bringing up the possibility of an increase in Social Security because the fund is running out of money. The joke is on the elderly and the ignorant that put idiots in Congress as representatives.

  • Report this Comment On October 06, 2013, at 8:15 AM, peckbill wrote:

    We must begin today. All members of the House of representatives come up for re-election in November 2014. All REPUBLICAN MEMBERS OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES share responsibility for the government shutdown that occurred on October 1, 2013. We, the people, must demonstrate, by voter participation that we, the people, are in charge of the United States of America. We, the people, MUST NOT vote for any Republican to fill a position in the United States of America House of Representatives. Remember what these people have done to American people in the past few years. On 1 October 2013 the House Republican/Tea Party members of the Congress shut down the United States government because they did not get their way and cut 150 million people out of available medical care by eliminating the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (the GOP voted more than 40 times but failed every time); these actions would expose America to foreign threats and economic poverty; the GOP does everything it can to make sure the poor remain poor and the middle class is reduced to poverty. They could not accept that the President of the United States of America was black. Look at other crippling changes supported by the same GOP/Tea Party members, 1) in 2006 they enacted a law requiring advanced money payments that has crippled the U.S. Postal Service to the extent that it is now threatened with enormous cuts and restrictions on services, 2) they enacted laws and made adjustments in federal and state operations that greatly cripple women rights and basically tell women, you are a second class citizen, you don’t count, and 3) they fights, every day, to cut much needed services such as Social Security, retirements, including military capability, that makes America appear to all foreign countries as a downward spiraling Nation without leadership, 4) they demand drastic reductions in the food stamp program that is needed to insure our hungry, mostly single mothers and kids, are fed at the minimum healthy levels(enforcement of the proper enactment process would greatly eliminate much of the waste and abuse in all these areas), 5) supports legislation in every state that would restrict voting rights of blacks, Hispanics and whites that support Democratic candidates or beliefs, and 6) openly supports the Heritage Foundation, an extremely conservative organization that is at best un-American. We must replace these radical members of the United States Congress and show them that, we, the people, still run this Country. Should the GOP candidate have no challenger write in the name of your local Police Chief or someone else you an trust.

  • Report this Comment On October 06, 2013, at 8:45 AM, fedexflyer wrote:

    Well if the government would stop raiding it to pay for other stupid crap maybe there would be money in it . Given the average life expectancy is somewhere around 74 why not just raise the age to 90 then they can go on raiding it and not worry about paying anyone .

  • Report this Comment On October 06, 2013, at 9:13 AM, dagf76 wrote:

    I can't believe it. I wouldn't put it past the gov to raise the retirment age. It really is foolish. My parents are 74 and there is no way they could still be working. Dad can't see and mom can hardly walk the arthritis has her so crippled. I am 56 and I know I will be lucky if I even make it to 60 working. My eyes are bad and the arthritis has been setting in for the last 15 yrs. What do they think, I will get hired before that 20 yr old, I don't think so. I like the way someone with a mill a yr income and free health care can decide our fate,

  • Report this Comment On October 06, 2013, at 9:22 AM, BeverlyT wrote:

    Gosh, folks! It's not the fault of the baby boomers that so-called "suck SS dry". It's not their fault that parents had more children during that era. That's part of the system. The government has been borrowing out of SS for years and supposedly paying it back with interest, but that leaves it short all the time. I don't have an opinion about raising the age limit, I don't know enough about repercussions, but some people don't know that just because the age limit is raised, it doesn't mean you can't retire earlier. My age to retire was 66, but at 65 I retired, and applied for my SS, which I received, but with less money than if I had waited to age 66. Everyone is right about one cannot live on just SS, so I kept paying into it, donated to a profit sharing program at my job which was turned into a 401K for 22 years, then at retirement rolled it over into an IRA, to get a check each month the money lasts, and then went to work part time in my field. Investing right now in your 20's, 30' and up until you retire is best, rolling your 401K over into any new employer's 401K program over the years. If everyone did this early, retirement age raising might keep it going and you'd be able to add that income to your retirement plan income, and if you are healthy at retirement, can work part time or even full time and...................survive!

  • Report this Comment On October 06, 2013, at 9:31 AM, reallycongress wrote:

    Lets see...we have people working here from different countries that don't pay into SS. They have replaced all of the younger generation that would have been paying into SS... wounder where all of the money has went??????????????

  • Report this Comment On October 06, 2013, at 9:39 AM, TOE65 wrote:

    I have been saying this for many years, "If the US Government would put back the $850 million dollars that they took out of the Social Security funds in the mid 1960's and charge itself a small interest of 4 percent, the system would be able to support all retiree for hundreds of years to come".

    The people in government is not part of the existing social security system, this needs to be changed immediately and you will see a different words coming out of their mouths about social security system.

  • Report this Comment On October 06, 2013, at 9:39 AM, patsaxon wrote:

    I think all of your are wrong! The retirement age should be raise to the age of 85 and no less. All of you are just lazy and in many other poor countries, many older people are still working hard in the heat and in the fields. There is nothing wrong with a little hard work. My mother who is retired, still gets up at AM in the morning, every day. Betty White at the age of 92 is still working and she is not complaining or retired. What should be done to support SS is taxing those who have $100 grand or more in their retirement account, plus raising the retirement age to 85!

  • Report this Comment On October 06, 2013, at 10:27 AM, flakyme wrote:

    What they need to do is remove the cap. You get taxed on all your wages not just to a certain point.

  • Report this Comment On October 06, 2013, at 10:35 AM, rbreau1 wrote:

    There is such a large number of ignorant voters that it is very difficult for the government to take reasonable action on any problem facing the country.

    I suggest that three modifications are required to have SS become a good retirement system for future generations.

    The retirement age should be indexed to some percent of the expected life remaining at age 70.

    So if at 70 you are expected to live to 84 so we use 20% at that means retirement from SS starts

    at 72.8 years.

    Second the maximum income should be raised to $200,000 and include capital gains from stocks.

    Third the ability to retire on disability needs to be reduced so that not so many fakes or minor injuries qualify.

  • Report this Comment On October 06, 2013, at 11:30 AM, ckgod wrote:

    I just reached my FRA but I'm still working. A lot of my friends say they will work until 70 and even beyond. People are getting healthier and live longer. I think the retirement age has already raised at least around my circle of friends and coworkers.

  • Report this Comment On October 06, 2013, at 11:32 AM, Macattack1331 wrote:

    If the Government paid back what they borrowed, then leave it alone there would be more money, it does need to raise the age but think rational, if someone is a Millionaire they should not get SS but still pay in "sorry"they have enough money the SS is to help the people that worked for it and paid in, then need it at the end, There is a lot people who have never paid in and became FAT and LAZY wants us to take care of them this is a fact, not people that really need it...I'm not intelligent if this doesn't sound right "sorry"I do work and pay in and I did guard our country for 22 years...............

  • Report this Comment On October 06, 2013, at 12:02 PM, kurtullman wrote:

    I will continue to mock (if not a full blown guffaw) the idea that SS is "fully funded". The SS trustees and the fully funded group point to the Surplus over the last 30 years as the FF part. However, that money has all gone (by law) into non-negotiable treasury securities. Both principle and interest from this is factored into the idea that is full funded.

    However, until someone can point me to a income stream that is dedicated to paying either principle or interest (let alone both), I will continue to say SS collapses relatively soon after the income from taxes no longer matches outflow from benefits.

    Two other points.

    1) the wage cap is exactly the same as the benefit cap. If I make $100,000,000 a year I still only pay SS taxes on ~$113,000. But I still only get benefits based on a salary of $113,000. It is sorta hard to make the case that high income people are ripping off the system.

    2). Protestations not withstanding, the Congress hasn't "spent" the SS money. It has gone into the aforementioned treasuries for years and every penny that raised is still there. Now, if there had been some income stream to pay it back diverted by Congress I would say they had a point. But since there never was and never has been a way identified to pay it back, I call "hogwash".

  • Report this Comment On October 06, 2013, at 12:07 PM, skypilot2005 wrote:

    Younger people shouldn't plan on Social Security income.

    The bright side is that they will have OBama Care....

    They voted for him and the Democrats............


  • Report this Comment On October 06, 2013, at 1:07 PM, RetiredCalif wrote:

    Should the retirement age be raised to 67? NO, NO, a thousand times NO!

    So many seniors in their 50's and 60's are not working, often because corporations push them out. Seniors have paid into this system for years with the understanding benefits are available at 62 (reduced of course). Even to change for the younger generation is a terrible and punitive idea, as noted by my colleagues in their 30's and 40's.

  • Report this Comment On October 06, 2013, at 1:58 PM, ImtheBaldEagle wrote:

    It was not consistent with the original intent for the federal government to take money from social security only to jeopardize the program by having the social security payments become part of national debt.

  • Report this Comment On October 06, 2013, at 2:13 PM, mike7418 wrote:

    Like it really matter? 2008 - 2009 crashed and burn any existence of hope for me to ever retire. These people every one votes into office have absolutely know idea what they are doing, and it is hurting everyone "They" are suppose to be standing for.Anyone thinks their "elected officials" actually care what they are doing? Really the American people have become "Sheeple" blindly looking for their "elected officials" to stand for what is right or wrong instead of standing together to let the government know what "We" stand for. What "We" know is right.

    There are so many misusing the SS system, as long as they get their "free" money they don't care. And the government makes it worse, the disability that they are giving out is called Disability Supplemental Income. "Supplemental" being the key word, the recipient should be receiving at least a partial income from a normal source. The government ruling on this states for every $100 the person makes, they will lose $75. So the recipient will refuse to find normal income for fear of losing their "free" money.

    I would suggest that they are made to find some sort of normal income in order to receive any benefits. This puts money back into the system, instead of bleeding it dry. The government does enough of that.

    But this is just one mans suggestion that will undoubtedly get its share of negative comments, because that's all the "Sheeple" know to do. Its better to complain about someone's suggestions than to stand up against what is clearly wrong. Like the above story about raising the retirement age

  • Report this Comment On October 06, 2013, at 3:21 PM, punky11 wrote:

    Well this Pissses me off, You young folks may say raise the age, Listen well, Most people age 65 cannot work, My hubby has worked from ag3 10, delivering papers and has alsways worked, I started working at age 12, babysitting. When my hubby got to the age of 62 he was forced to retire,because of polymyoendoarteritis, now if he was not of retirement age he would have to go on disability, which in case you don't know pays much more the SSI. wait till youget up in your years and have health issues, tell me you can go to work each day, unless you have a total sit down job, with no stress, You better think about yourselves before u say increase age,

  • Report this Comment On October 06, 2013, at 3:22 PM, FrancesO wrote:

    How about we stop giving Social Security to Cubans, Chinese, Cambodians and others who are deemed to have "escaped" a communist country, especially when that "escape" consists of getting on an airplane and landing in the USA? These seniors are purposely be sent to our country by their families to retire on our dime. The younger generation of the above should also be unable to collect Social Security disability. Their scam is that they are unable to work here because of the trauma they suffered in their own country. Bull. Real easy fix: you don't contribute, you don't collect.

  • Report this Comment On October 06, 2013, at 5:24 PM, RetiredCalif wrote:

    Should the retirement age be raised to 70? NO, NO, a thousand times NO!

    So many seniors in their 50's and 60's are not working, often because corporations push them out. Seniors have paid into this system for years with the understanding benefits are available at 62 (reduced of course). Even to change for the younger generation is a terrible and punitive idea, as noted by my colleagues in their 30's and 40's.

  • Report this Comment On October 06, 2013, at 5:35 PM, neamakri wrote:

    there are some proposals to "save" social security; they all propose to pay retirees less money. Example; raise the retirement age.

    The country of Chili privatized their social security system dozens of years ago. Since then everything in their economy has improved (a lot). All we have to do is copy their new privatized system.

  • Report this Comment On October 06, 2013, at 7:00 PM, Mathman6577 wrote:

    The answer is convert SS to a 401k-type retirement plan. Trying to fine-tune SS every few years will not work.

  • Report this Comment On October 07, 2013, at 1:49 AM, 0b1knob wrote:

    If you did any research for this article (and its PAINFULLY OBVIOUS that you did not do so) you would already know that the full retirement age for people born after 1960 was increased to 67 years ago.

  • Report this Comment On October 10, 2013, at 1:34 PM, MikeHarold100 wrote:

    We need to wean ourselves from this Government yoke.

    If the Benefit age (nothing to do with retirement) is gradually raised to say 120 over a few decades, our younger countrymen and women can adjust. Also a means test could be added starting at say $1M and lowering over a few decades. At some point no one will be eligible to be controlled by those holding political power.

    On the tax side: All 15% that the government takes should be shown on my paycheck. Too many people forget that their employer is also paying 7.5%. As the benefits are reduced the tax can be lowered until it is also gone.

    People can save on their own; we have so many more ways to do this today than when the program was started.

    The other area to watch is the traditional pension. Now that those are coming due, it is clear that planners did not save or manage well enough to cover more retirees than payers. All public pensions should be transformed to the 401K style that so many of us in the private sector have.

  • Report this Comment On October 20, 2013, at 9:58 AM, mitrajo wrote:

    Give me my refund and don't take out SS$ from my wages and I don't give a crap if you raised the retirement age to 200. We never learn. People always vote for the same corrupted politicians.

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