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While members of Congress play dodge ball with the “third rail” entitlement called Social Security, its time for us to face the music with a compromise.
Let’s acknowledge that the Social Security lock box is empty and the hole we are in is deeper every year unless we can find a solution.
“This year, the system will pay out more in benefits than it receives in payroll taxes, an important threshold it was not expected to cross until at least 2016, according to the Congressional Budget Office.” Source. NY Times.
“If you were born in 1960 or later, Your full retirement age is 67
Remember, the earliest a person can start receiving Social Security retirement benefits will remain age 62.
If you start receiving retirement benefits at age 62, you will get 70% of the monthly benefit because you will be getting benefits for an additional 60 months.
If you start receiving retirement benefits at age 65, you will get 86.7% of the monthly benefit because you will be getting benefits for an additional 24 months.”
What we are hearing are proposals to push out, incrementally, the age at which currently employed workers can retire with full benefits.
If we agree to push out retirement from age 67 to 68 or beyond I would suggest a corresponding push-out in the public sector that no employee can retire until age 65.
If public sector employees wish to retire earlier they should see a reduction in their benefit such as 80% at age 60.
Federal and state employees should not be able to take early retirement at age 50 or 55 and get a second job with full Social Security benefits after only 40 quarters or 10 years.
While this is not a perfect solution we need to eat the elephant one bite at a time.
Those are my thoughts. What suggestions can you offer?