Aging Today: Can We Count on Having Social Security in the Future?

This piece originally aired during WFSU’s Aging Today segment.

Social Security has been very successful in reducing poverty among older Americans. But the increasing number of recipients raises the specter that the system cannot be sustained.

Economists estimate that without changing in financing, the average benefit will decrease 20% by 2030. Surveys report that at least half of future retirees question whether social security will be there for them, but they also report support for some changes to the program.

About 7 in 10 Americans support a reform package that includes eliminating the ceiling on taxable income. Currently, workers do not pay social security taxes on income over $128,000. Having workers pay on all income is a reform that would cover about three quarters of the program’s shortfall.

This reform, along with others, will ensure social security’s continued contribution to older Americans’ economic security.

WFSU-FM Aging Today

The Pepper Institute on Aging and Public Policy – with support from the Claude Pepper Center, the College of Social Sciences and Public Policy, and Osher Lifelong Learning at FSU – sponsors weekly “Aging Today” segments on 88.9, WFSU-FM NPR. Airing each Tuesday at 3:04pm, the one-minute segments highlight critical aging-related trends, issues, and policies, with an emphasis on social science research. 

Listen to archives of Aging Today segments at wfsu.org/agingtoday.

David W. Rasmussen is Dean Emeritus for FSU’s College of Social Sciences and Public Policy and Associate at FSU’s Pepper Institute on Aging and Public Policy.

The featured image is from Market Watch.

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