As Americans live longer and healthier lives, the Social Security program is under increasing strain. According to the most recent report from the Social Security Trustees, the program is facing a shortfall that will need to be addressed in the coming years. By 2035, they estimate that the program will only be able to pay out 80 percent of benefits owed to retirees.
There are a number of ways to change Social Security in order to make it more sustainable, but any changes would need to be approved by Congress.
According to a recent report by CNBC, here are some of the ways that Americans on both sides of the aisle would change Social Security:
- Increasing the level of income at which Social Security payroll taxes are applied. Currently, the payroll tax is applied to incomes up to $147,000. Some proposals would increase this to $200,000 or more.
- Increasing the payroll tax. Currently, the payroll tax is 6.2 percent for employees and employers. Some proposals would increase this to 6.5 percent or more.
- Reducing benefits for high-income beneficiaries. Those with incomes above a set amount would receive reduced benefits.
- Gradually increasing the retirement age. Currently, the full retirement age is 66. Under some proposals, it would gradually increase to 67 or 70.
While there are a number of ways to change Social Security, any changes would need to be approved by Congress. In the meantime, you can do your part to call for change by adding your name to The Seniors Center’s petition—we’re calling on Congress to protect the future of Social Security. And if you haven’t yet, follow us on Twitter and Facebook to stay up-to-date on the latest news and information about Social Security.