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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
Age Dependency Ratios and Social Security Solvency

Age Dependency Ratios and Social Security Solvency

Date: October 27, 2006
Creator: Shrestha, Laura B.
Description: As highlighted by the Social Security Administration (SSA), the aging of the (United States) population, hastened by the impending retirement of the huge baby-boom generation, has caused policy-makers to question whether the U.S. Social Security system can meet the demands for retirement benefits in the future. Because the current system largely pays benefits through taxes paid by current workers, the financial health of the system is sensitive to the ratio of dependents to workers—sometimes called the age dependency ratio or support ratio. Trends and projections of dependency ratios, including the relationship between both older (years 65 and older) and younger (under age 20) dependents to the working-age population in the United States are considered in the first section of this demographic report. Next, the United States is compared to nine other nations, including the seven other members of the G8. In the final section, policy implications of the changing dependent-to-worker ratios are considered in the context of pay-as-you-go (paygo) social security systems.
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Social Security Administration (SSA): Budget Issues

Social Security Administration (SSA): Budget Issues

Date: September 8, 2014
Creator: Szymendera, Scott D.
Description: This report provides an overview of the Social Security Administration (SSA) mandatory spending but largely focuses on discretionary appropriations for the agency’s administrative expenses. The size of the annual appropriations for administrative expenses affects the agency’s ability to effectively administer the SSA’s benefit programs as well as conduct program integrity activities designed to ensure that only eligible persons receive federal benefits.
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Social Security Administration: Workloads, Resources, and Service Delivery

Social Security Administration: Workloads, Resources, and Service Delivery

Date: February 6, 2009
Creator: Romig, Kathleen
Description: This report provides an overview of SSA's workloads, resources, and service delivery since FY1996, the first full fiscal year in which SSA became an independent agency. It also covers issues for Congress, focusing on recommendations made by the independent SSAB, Government Accountability Office, SSA's Office of the Inspector General, and the National Research Council.
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Retirement Benefits for Members of Congress

Retirement Benefits for Members of Congress

Date: October 28, 2008
Creator: Purcell, Patrick
Description: This report discusses the Civil Service Retirement Act of 1920 (P.L. 66-215) that established a pension system for federal employees in the executive branch of government.
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Social Security: The Cost-of-Living Adjustment in January 2005

Social Security: The Cost-of-Living Adjustment in January 2005

Date: October 19, 2004
Creator: Sidor, Gary
Description: This report discusses how the cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) for Social Security benefits are determined. The 2.7% COLA payable in January 2005 was triggered by the rise in the CPI-W (Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers) from the third quarter of 2003 to the third quarter of 2004. This COLA triggers identical percentage increases in Supplemental Security Income (SSI), veterans' pensions, and railroad retirement benefits, and causes other changes in the Social Security program.
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Social Security: Calculation and History of Taxing Benefits

Social Security: Calculation and History of Taxing Benefits

Date: October 21, 2008
Creator: Mulvey, Janemarie & Scott, Christine
Description: This report discusses the Social Security system that provides monthly benefits to qualified retirees, disabled workers, and their spouses and dependents.
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Social Security: Brief Facts and Statistics

Social Security: Brief Facts and Statistics

Date: March 20, 2003
Creator: Kollmann, Geoffrey
Description: This report provides brief facts and statistics about Social Security that are frequently requested by Members of Congress and their staffs. It includes information about Social Security taxes and benefits, the program's impact on recipients' incomes, federal tax receipts, federal spending and the economy, administrative information, and selected facts about Medicare.
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Disability Evaluation of Military Servicemembers

Disability Evaluation of Military Servicemembers

Date: October 21, 2008
Creator: Scott, Christine; Panangala, Sidath V. & Henning, Charles A.
Description: This report is intended as a primer to describe disability evaluation in general, including evaluations used by the Department of Defense (DOD) and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), in addition to civilian evaluations used by the Social Security Administration (SSA) and by workers' compensation programs.
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Social Security: The Windfall Benefit Provision

Social Security: The Windfall Benefit Provision

Date: January 9, 2004
Creator: Haltzel, Laura
Description: This report discusses the windfall elimination provision, which reduces the Social Security benefits of workers who also have pension benefits from employment not covered by Social Security. Its purpose is to remove an advantage these workers would otherwise receive because of Social Security's benefit formula that favors workers with smaller amounts of Social Security-covered career earnings. Opponents contend that the provision is basically inaccurate and often unfair. In both the 107th and 108th Congresses, five bills have been introduced that would modify or repeal the provision.
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Social Security Notch Issue: A Summary

Social Security Notch Issue: A Summary

Date: March 6, 2003
Creator: Kollmann, Geoffrey
Description: This report discusses recent attempts at legislative action regarding changes to the computation of benefits under Social Security Amendments of 1977 (P.L. 95-216), which directly affected retirees born in the 5- to 15-year period after 1916. These persons fall in the "notch" between previous Social Security legislation and those affected by the amendments.
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