Policymakers have debated creating a system of individual accounts (IAs) as part of Social Security for many years. This report describes policymakers’ administrative and structural choices regarding the collection and investment of assets in a system of individual accounts.
This report provides 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 its recipients' incomes, federal tax receipts, federal spending and the economy, administrative information, and selected facts about Medicare.
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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