It is known that social security benefits in the United States are specially assigned for the old-age people and survivors, the disabled people, needy families, and the unemployed population. Social security benefits are paid according to the Social Security Act. There are many special social security programs which provide social support and benefits to different categories of the US citizens, such as the federal OASDI program, Unemployment benefits, Medicare, Medicaid and others. (Feldstein & Liebman, 2002, p.31)
My goal in this paper is to synthesize two scholarly, peer-reviewed articles that are focused on social security benefits.
The first article which will be discussed in this paper is Who Never Receives Social Security Benefits? written by Kevin Whitman, Gayle L. Reznik and Dave Shoffner. The authors of the article discuss the fate, demographic characteristics and economic well-being of those individuals who never receive social security benefits in the United States. It is known that Social Security is considered to be a universal program for the old aged people. According to the statistical data, about 85.6% of old aged individuals from 65 years old and older received some income from Social Security in 2010. However, some old aged individuals never receive Social Security Old-Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance, or OASDI benefits. The authors of the article are experienced sociologists who have already collected appropriate information that is focused on the old aged individuals who never receive social security benefits. In their study, the authors of the article use the Modeling Income in the Near Term (MINT model which is focused on the individuals aged from 62 to 84. The major advantage of this model is that it allows to project if today’s old aged individuals remain non-beneficiaries for the rest of lives.
It is interesting to analyze the findings of the study which demonstrate that about 4% of the old aged population never receives Social Security benefits in the United States. Among them are a great number of women, immigrants, and those people who never married. Moreover, most non-beneficiaries are poorly educated. Besides, it was found that the poverty rate of non-beneficiaries is higher than the poverty rate of those who receive benefits. In addition, about 95% of non-beneficiaries have no proper work histories in order to gain Social Security benefits. Among them are late-arriving immigrants, infrequent and non-covered workers. (Whitman, 2011, para.3)
As can be seen from the above mentioned facts, it is necessary to think about social security benefits at the young age in order to avoid such financial problems which spoil the life of about 4% of non-beneficiaries today.
The second article A Primer on Social Security Systems and Reforms written by Craig P. Aubuchon, Juan C. Conesa and Carlos Garriga discusses the issue concerning the role of social security systems and reforms in the life of all individuals. Moreover, the authors of the article represent an overview of different social security systems including funded defined-contribution system, funded defined-benefit system, unfunded defined benefit system, unfunded defined contribution system. They try to find the best variant of social security system in order to implement this variant as a social security reform.
It is known that the US Social Security system was implemented by the President Franklin Roosevelt in 1935. Today this system is known as Old-Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance (OASDI). It is a so called pay-as-you-go (PAYG) system in which workers provide their finances through a Social Security tax; these contributions provide social security benefits to those who are retired and disabled and have no opportunity to work. As this system needs guarantees that future generations of the country will provide the same social support benefits for them. However, the fully funded social security systems “require that all social benefits accrue based on individual contributions which are paid over time. It means that future obligations are fully funded by earlier contributions. (Aubuchon, 2011, para.2)
The article discusses financial sustainability of the US Social Security system. It is known that the recent recession which was “combined with the renewed political focus on health care and long-term health costs” caused great interest to maintain the long-run financial stability of social security benefits. (Aubuchon, 2011, para.3)
Moreover, the Board of Trustees of OASDI tends to introduce a long-term reform for several years. The report demonstrates how the long-term reform is influenced by lower gross domestic product (GDP) and the number of covered workers. Besides, the report “demonstrates the need for timely and effective action”. Some possible solutions include the implementation of higher taxes and lower social security benefits, or their combination. However, some experiences financial experts and analysts are sure that the transition to a fully funded Social Security system will be the best solution.
In conclusion, it is necessary to say that social security benefits play an important role in the life of all citizens of our country. Of course, today the US government should pay special attention to the US social security system in order to guarantee appropriate benefits to our citizens in future.
Aubuchon, C., Conesa, J., Garriga, C. (2011) A Primer on Social Security Systems and Reforms. Journal of Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis. Vol.93(1). Retrieved from:<http://www.questia.com/PM.qst?a=o&d=5047021891>
Feldstein, M., Liebman, J. (2002). The Distributional Aspects of Social Security and Social Security Reform. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Whitman, K., Reznik, G.L., Shoffner, D. (2011) Who Never Receives Social Security Benefits? Social Security Bulletin. Vol.71, Issue 2. Retrieved from: <http://www.questia.com/PM.qst?a=o&d=5048910958>