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Social Security: Why Action Should Be Taken Soon (2001)

September 8, 2001

Excerpt Quote:

“Prompt action is essential if we are to restore confidence in the future of Social Security and enable today?s workers to plan for a secure retirement.”



Social Security is a social insurance program to which nearly all workers, along with their employers, are required to contribute in order to provide protection against the risk of loss of wages due to retirement, disability, or death of a worker. Retired workers make up 63 percent of all beneficiaries. But the program?s income protection extends beyond retired workers. According to estimates, about 4 out of 10 young men, and 3 out of 10 young women, who are now age 20 will die or become disabled before reaching age 67. Today, 11 percent of all Social Security beneficiaries are workers who are disabled and have not reached retirement age; 11 percent are spouses and children of retired and disabled workers; and 15 percent are spouses and children of deceased workers. Whatever changes are enacted, Social Security must continue to protect these vulnerable individuals.