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KATHLEEN ROMIG SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION Social Security 101.

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Presentation on theme: "KATHLEEN ROMIG SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION Social Security 101."— Presentation transcript:

1 KATHLEEN ROMIG SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION Social Security 101

2 Overview Today we are going to talk about Social Security’s... Origins Purpose Benefits Taxes Finances Impact

3 SOCIAL SECURITY’S FOUNDERS MAJOR DATES IN SOCIAL SECURITY HISTORY Social Security’s Origins

4 Social Security’s Founders

5 Major Dates in Social Security History 1935Social Security Act passes 1939Dependents and survivors benefits established Coverage expanded 1956Disability benefits established 1961Early retirement age at 62 for all retirees 1975Automatic cost-of-living adjustments 1983Bipartisan solvency deal

6 WHAT ARE ITS GOALS? WHY SOCIAL INSURANCE? Social Security’s Purpose

7 Goals of Social Security Equity  What you get out is based on what you put in  Mandatory saving protects both the short-sighted people who won’t save and those who would be forced to bail them out Adequacy  Insures against disability and premature death  Supplements incomes of those who wouldn’t otherwise have a decent standard of living

8 Social Insurance vs. Welfare Social InsuranceWelfare Qualify based on:Earnings & contributionsNeed Benefits based on:Earnings & contributionsNeed Purpose:Replace lost wagesProvide a floor of income Participation:Near-universalLimited Funding:Payroll taxesGeneral revenues Relationship to personal savings: Supplements savingsDiscourages savings Anti-poverty strategy:Poverty preventionPoverty alleviation General model:Pools risks & resourcesRicher people assisting poorer people

9 BENEFICIARIES AVERAGE BENEFITS BALANCING EQUITY & ADEQUACY Social Security Benefits

10 Who Receives Social Security? About 1 in 6 Americans (57 million people) Source: SSA, Note: As of December 2012

11 How Much Do Average Beneficiaries Get? Source: Social Security Administration: Note: As of June 2013 Benefit typeAverage monthly benefit Average annual benefit Retired workers$1,269~$15,000 Spouses of retired workers $632~$8,000 Disabled workers$1,129~$14,000 Surviving children$802~$10,000 Children of disabled workers $303~$4,000 Poverty guideline$930$11,170

12 Balancing Equity & Adequacy Higher earners have greater monthly benefits than lower earners, since benefits are based on earnings Note: Hypothetical scaled earners who turn 65 and retire in 2012 Source: 2012 Social Security Trustees Report, intermediate assumptions

13 Balancing Equity & Adequacy Lower earners have higher replacement rates than higher earners, since the benefit formula is progressive Note: Hypothetical scaled earners who turn 65 and retire in 2012 Source: 2012 Social Security Trustees Report, intermediate assumptions

14 WHO PAYS? HOW MUCH? Social Security Taxes

15 Who is Covered by Social Security? About 19 in 20 workers (161 million people) Source: SSA, Note: As of December 2012

16 How Much Do We Pay? Payroll tax rate:  Employees = 6.2% of covered earnings  Employers = 6.2% of covered earnings  Total contribution = 12.4% of covered earnings Payroll tax cap:  $113,700 in earnings for 2013

17 INCOME & OUTGO TRUST FUNDS SOLVENCY OUTLOOK OPTIONS TO RESTORE SOLVENCY Social Security’s Finances

18 How Much Money Does Social Security Take In? In 2012, Social Security took in $840 billion. Source: 2013 Social Security Trustees Report,

19 How Much Money Does Social Security Spend? Source: 2013 Social Security Trustees Report, In 2012, Social Security spent $786 billion.

20 The Trust Funds

21 Key Solvency Dates 2010: Cash-flow deficits began  In other words, spending exceeds tax revenue (i.e., payroll taxes + taxation of benefits).  Accumulated trust fund bonds are redeemed from the Treasury. 2033: Trust fund assets will be exhausted  At this point, about 77% of scheduled benefits will be payable with tax revenue. Source: 2013 Social Security Trustees Report, intermediate assumptions

22 Projected Trust Fund Exhaustion Source: 2013 Social Security Trustees Report, Figure II.D7 The Treasury will gradually repay Social Security $2.7 trillion until its reserves are exhausted.

23 Why Does Social Security Have a Solvency Gap? Demographics  Aging baby boomers  Declining fertility rates  Increasing life expectancies Rising real benefits  Initial benefits are indexed to wages  Wages typically rise faster than prices  Thus, real benefits rise for each generation

24 Fewer Workers Per Beneficiary Source: 2013 Social Security Trustees Report, intermediate assumptions

25 How to Restore Solvency? More Money In  Raise the payroll tax immediately by 2.66 percentage points (raising the combined tax from 12.40% to 15.06%). Less Money Out  Cut benefits immediately by 16.5%. Larger changes are needed to maintain solvency beyond 75 years. Source: 2013 Social Security Trustees Report, intermediate assumptions.

26 Advantages of Acting Sooner Rather than Later

27 REDUCES ELDERLY POVERTY LARGEST SOURCE OF ELDERLY INCOME MODEST BY INTERNATIONAL STANDARDS Social Security’s Impact

28 Elderly Poverty Over Time

29 The Largest Source of Elderly Income Source: SSA, Income of the Aged Chartbook, 2010

30 Reliance Varies Widely by Income Level Source: SSA, Income of the Aged Chartbook, 2010

31 Increasing Reliance on Accounts

32 Replacement Rates Less than OECD Average Source: OECD, Pensions at a Glance, 2009, public pensions for median earner


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