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Individual Changes Modifying Social Security

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Proposals Affecting the Trust Funds

2012 Trustees Report

Understanding Interaction Among Options

Annual Trustees Reports provide estimates of the financial status of Social Security's Old-Age and Survivors Insurance (OASI) and Disability Insurance (DI) Trust Funds under current law. Recent Reports call for informed discussion, creative thinking, and timely legislation to address expected future deficits. Many policy makers have developed proposals and options to address this long-range solvency problem. Listed below is a broad range of policy options that would address Trust Fund solvency and other issues related to Social Security benefits and financing. Many of these options are part of comprehensive proposals intended to restore Trust Fund solvency.

We group the options into categories, as shown below. We also provide a summary list of all options (PDF version).

Category of Change to the Social Security Program
(Estimates based on the 2012 Trustees Report unless otherwise stated)
A: Cost of Living Adjustment F: Coverage of Employment/Earnings
B: Level of Monthly Benefits (PIA) G: Investment in Marketable Securities
C: Retirement Age H: Taxation of Benefits
D: Benefits for Family Members I:  Individual Accounts
E: Payroll Taxes (including maximum taxable) J:  All Categories
Estimates available in HTML and PDF. PDF requires Adobe Acrobat Reader or equivalent.

Following a brief description of each option, we provide estimates of the financial effect on the combined OASI and DI programs over the long-range period (the next 75 years) and for the 75th year. In addition, we give a link to the memorandum containing this policy option.

Beginning with the 2009 Trustees Report, we made changes to the methodology of determining estimates.

Estimates are available for similar options based on 2011 Trustees Report

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Last reviewed or modified January 09, 2012
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