1957-59 Advisory Council


Social Security Administration

Washington 25, D. C.


Thursday, October 24, 1957

Marion B. Folsom, Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare, today announced appointment of a 12-man advisory council to review the long-range financial position of the social security system.

In enacting last year's social security amendments, Congress provided for the appointment of such a group, to be called the Advisory Council on Social Security Financing, by January, 1958.

The Council will review the status of the Old-Age and Survivors Insurance Trust Fund and the new Disability Insurance Trust Fund in relation to the long-term commitments of these programs. It will consider, among other things, the scheduled social security tax increase set by law for 1960.

The 1956 amendments also call for the appointment of similar advisory councils in the period before each of the future scheduled increases in social security taxes in 1965, 1970, and 1975.

Mr. Folsom said in a statement:

"The social security system already pays benefits to almost 11 million Americans. It provides future protection for many more millions--in fact, more than 9 out of 10 workers and their families are now covered.

"In the fiscal year ending last June, the system, in round numbers, paid $6.5 billion in benefits and received $7.1 billion in income. Total administrative expenses were approximately $150 million. The trust fund increased by $400 million, to a total of $23 billion.

"The social security system is a keystone in the economic security of millions of individuals and of the country as a whole. Although the system is in sound condition, it should be reviewed periodically by the most competent authorities to make sure that it continues to operate on the soundest possible basis over the years ahead, and that the funds will always be sufficient to pay the benefits provided by law.

"I am very pleased that such able and distinguished leaders have agreed to serve on the council. In helping to maintain a sound social security system, members of the council will be rendering a notable public service."

Members of the council, which will make its report by the end of 1958, are:

Representing Employers

Elliott V. Bell
Chairman, Executive Committee, McGraw-Hill Publishing Company;
Business Week
New York City

Reinhard A. Hohaus
Vice President and Chief Actuary, Metropolitan Life Insurance Company
New York City

Robert A. Hornby
President, Pacific Lighting Corporation
San Francisco, California

Representing Employees

Joseph William Childs
Vice President, United Rubber, Cork, Linoleum & Plastic Workers of America
Akron, Ohio

Nelson H. Cruikshank
Director, Department of Social Security, AFL-CIO
Washington, D.C.

Eric Peterson
General Secretary-Treasurer, International Association of Machinists

Representing Public and Self-Employed

J. Douglas Brown
Director, Department of Economics and Social Institutions, Princeton University
Princeton, New Jersey

Arthur P. Burns
President, National Bureau of Economic Research
Former Chairman, President's Council of Economic Advisers
New York City

Carl H. Fischer
Professor of Insurance, School of Business Administration
University of Michigan
Ann Arbor, Michigan

Thomas N. Hurd
Professor of Agricultural Economics
Cornell University, Ithaca, New York
Former Budget Director, State of New York

Robert McAllister Lloyd
President, Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association of America
New York City

Malcolm H. Bryan
President, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta
Atlanta, Georgia

Four members have served previously as special consultants or members of advisory councils on social security. They are Mr. Brown, Mr. Cruikshank, Mr. Bryan, and Mr. Hohaus.

The law provides that the Commissioner of Social Security in the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare (Mr. Charles I. Schottland) will serve as chairman of the council.

Mr. Folsom noted that trustees of the old-age and survivors insurance trust fund, in their last report last March, found that "for all practical purposes it may be said that the system is in actuarial balance." The trustees are the Secretary of the Treasury, managing trustee, and the Secretary of Labor and the Secretary of HEW.

The law now provides that the social security tax of 2-1/4 percent on employers and employees each, on payrolls up to $4200 annually, will be increased to 2-3/4 percent in 1960. The self-employed rate is scheduled to increase then from 3-3/8 percent to 4-1/8 percent.

The law provides for further increases at 5-year intervals until, by 1975, the rates would be 4-1/4 percent each on employers and employees -- a total payroll tax of 8-1/2 percent -- and 6-3/8 percent on self-employed persons.