Alert
Close

Introducing AARP RealPad: The Wi-Fi Tablet That Makes It Easy to Share, Learn, Connect and Play. Learn more

Highlights

Open

10,000 Games Galore Sweepstakes from AARP
AARP Auto Buying Program
Think You Know AARP Caribbean Cruise Sweepstakes

AARP-iPad-ePub-app

Most Popular
ARTICLES

Viewed

Nothing has been viewed

Free Fun!

AARP Games - Play Now!

Work
PROGRAMS

Best Employers for Workers Over 50

See the latest winners of this AARP recognition program.

Employer Resource Center

Attract and retain top talent in a changing workforce.

It's Time to Protect Social Security

The longer we wait, the harder it gets. Here are possible solutions from both sides of the political aisle

The Social Security Playbook illustration

Changes are needed to restore Social Security to long-term fiscal health. — Illustration by Pete Ryan

It's Time to protect Social Security logo

THE PROCESS

Money in … 

More than 80% of Social Security's revenue comes through the FICA (the Federal Insurance Contributions Act) payroll tax, which imposes a 12.4% tax on income, with 6.2% paid by employers and 6.2% paid by workers. Two other revenue sources: interest earned on reserve funds, and income taxes paid on benefits by higher-income retirees.
Pie chart, Where Social Security Money comes from

— Graphic by Thomas Porostocky

FICA revenue that isn't needed immediately is credited to the Social Security Trust Fund and invested in securities issued by the U.S. Treasury to fund government operations. Those bonds are backed by the full faith and credit of the government. When Social Security redeems bonds, that puts pressure on the federal budget.

Money out…
A formula averages and indexes lifetime earnings to determine benefits; the average monthly retiree benefit this year is about $1,180. For 64% of Americans 65 and over, Social Security provides more than half of their income. Total benefits this year: $727 billion.
 
 

Topic Alerts

You can get weekly email alerts on the topics below. Just click “Follow.”

Manage Alerts

Processing

Please wait...

progress bar, please wait

Tell Us WhatYou Think

Please leave your comment below.

Jobs You Might Like

Discounts & Benefits

From companies that meet the high standards of service and quality set by AARP.

Woman sitting on sofa using laptop
membership adt

Small business owners save 20% on new installation of any new ADT security system.

Mujer en la parte de afuera de so negocio

Free quotes for members from the AARP® Small Business Insurance Program.

Member Benefits

Renew today! Members receive exclusive member benefits & affect social change.

Rewards for Good

Your Points Balance:

Learn More

Earn points for completing free online activities designed to enrich your life.

Find more ways to earn points

Redeem your points to save on merchandise, travel, and more.

Official Sweepstakes Rules

Explore Your Learning Possiblities