By Cozette Eldridge, W.P. Co. Field Representative
Social Security is a program that forms the financial foundation for most of our nation’s retired workers, and that’s not expected to change anytime soon.
Data from the Social Security Administration shows that 61% of all current retirees receiving benefits count on Social Security to provide at least half of their monthly income. Up to 59% of the people retiring in the next few years also expect at least half of the income coming from Social Security. SSA suggests that Social Security should only replace about 40% of a retired worker’s annual income.
A report from the Social Security Board of Trustees states that Social Security will begin paying out more than it is bringing in from payroll taxes, interest and the taxation of benefits by 2020, culminating in the program’s extra cash being completely exhausted by 2034. Should the excess cash disappear, the Trustees estimate that an across the board benefits cut of up to 21% may be needed to sustain payouts to the year 2090.
On one hand, Congress needs to make changes to the program that will benefit current and future retirees as much as possible. But waiting for Congress to act isn’t a sound retirement plan. Social Security funds are not and has never been put into the federal government general operating fund. The monies from S.S. may only be invested in securities backed by the full faith and credit of the Federal government treasury bill, treasury notes, and treasury bonds, as well as special issue bonds. The government can “invest” in Security funds by lending them to itself, then spending that money on programs not related to Social Security. The government “pays back” the money when the S.S. program redeems the bonds, but if Social Security falls into a deficit, the Treasury may not have the necessary cash on hand to pay back the fund. That is something I think Congress should look into and work together to find solutions.
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APRIL 1 – APRIL 5
MON. Chicken Cordon Bleu, Rice Pilaf, Calif. Blend Vegetables, Fruit
TUES. Chicken Fried Steak, Mashed Potatoes/Gravy, Mixed Vegetables, Fruit
WED. Pepperoni Pizza, Colorful Salad with Peas, Fruit
THUR. Lentil Soup, Tuna Salad Sandwich, Applesauce
FRI. Hot Turkey Sandwich, Peas/Carrots, Tomatoes/Vinaigrette, Orange, Oatmeal Cookie