Social Security: Issues in Comparing Rates of Return With Market Investments Page: 3 of 75
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GAO United States
General Accounting Office
Washington, D.C. 20548
Health, Education, and
Human Services Division
August 5, 1999
The Honorable Charles E. Grassley
Special Committee on Aging
United States Senate
The Honorable Richard C. Shelby
United States Senate
As the Congress and the nation have examined how best to restore the long-term solvency of
the Social Security system, many proposals to restructure the system to include individual
accounts have been offered. Many who favor individual account proposals point to the low
rates of return that workers can expect from the current system and the opportunity that
individual accounts would offer for improving rates of return on retirement contributions.
Opponents of individual accounts have taken exception to the usefulness and validity of
focusing on rates of return. This report, entitled Social Security: Issues in Comparing Rates of
Return With Market Investments, provides a discussion of the key issues to consider in
comparing Social Security and private market rates of return.
We are sending this report to the Commissioner of Social Security and relevant congressional
committees and subcommittees. The report will be available to others on request.
This report was prepared under my direction. Please contact Charles A. Jeszeck, Assistant
Director, at (202) 512-7036 if you have questions.
Barbara D. Bovbjerg
Associate Director, Education, Workforce,
and Income Security Issues
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United States. General Accounting Office. Social Security: Issues in Comparing Rates of Return With Market Investments, report, August 5, 1999; Washington D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc294576/m1/3/: accessed January 20, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.