Fixing Social Security doesn’t necessarily have to require slashing benefits, according to the findings of TSCL’s annual 2015 Senior Survey. Almost 1,200 survey participants weighed in on a range of proposals that would eliminate more than 128% of the program shortfall and provide solvency for another 75 years. Here’s a closer look at options that received the highest level of support from survey participants. The estimates of the shortfall eliminated below come from the Social Security Administration.
Raise the taxable maximum wage cap to apply the full 12.4% Social Security tax to all earnings above the $118,500 maximum taxable wage limit.
Estimated shortfall eliminated: 66%
Support — 70%
Opposed — 7%
No opinion — 23%
Very gradually increase the payroll tax rate by 1% each for workers and employers.
Estimated shortfall eliminated: 49%
Support — 45%
Opposed — 30%
No opinion —25%
Government would invest up to 25% of excess Social Security Trust Fund reserves in stocks instead of I.O.U.s.
Estimated shortfall eliminated: 13%, assuming a 6.4% rate of return, and gradual phase in.
Support — 44%
Opposed — 24%
No opinion — 32%
Prohibit payment of Social Security benefits that are calculated on earnings from unauthorized work by illegal immigrants who worked under fraudulent or invalid Social Security numbers.
(Estimated shortfall eliminated: not known by the Social Security Administration.)
Support — 82%
Opposed — 9%
No opinion — 9%
Source: 2015 Annual Senior Survey, The Senior Citizens League (TSCL), April 2015.