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Social Security Options for the Future Skip to content

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Social Security Options for the Future



Social Security can pay scheduled benefits until 2034. Before that date, the program will need to be updated or risk paying out 79 percent of expected benefits beyond then. Below are a series of ideas aimed at ensuring the program’s long-term solvency and ensuring that future benefits are adequate to provide a stable retirement for a changing America.

Adopting a Chained CPI Targets the Oldest, Poorest Americans

Calculating Social Security’s annual cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) using a chained consumer price index (CPI) would cut benefits the most for the oldest Americans—those who are least able to afford it. This fact sheet details the impact on older Americans of using a chained CPI. Read

Proposed Changes to Social Security’s Cost-of-Living Adjustment: What Would They Mean for Beneficiaries?

As policymakers debate ways to reduce the federal budget deficit, several proposals have included a change to the way that inflation is calculated in Social Security. A new cost of living measure (chained-CPI), which grows more slowly than the current calculation (CPI-W), would reduce spending on Social Security as well as other federally administered programs such as Supplemental Security Income and pensions for veterans. Read

Updating Social Security for the 21st Century: 12 Proposals You Should Know About

The world has changed a lot in 80 years. Social Security needs to be updated for the 21st century so we can keep the promise we’ve made to future generations. Estimates indicate the program will be able to pay full benefits for the next 20 years but only around 75 percent after that. Here are summaries of 12 options being talked about in Washington and on the campaign trail. Each summary is accompanied by two opinions that AARP commissioned from experts whose views typically represent different sides of the issues. Read


AARP Policy Innovation Challenge Results: Social Security Innovations Focus on Adequacy

In 2016, AARP launched its Innovation Challenge to identify policy solutions to strengthen Social Security. AARP received an overwhelming number of responses to the Challenge from thought leaders across the country. After a review by AARP staff for technical compliance, applications that met the innovation criteria were shared with an expert panel for blind review. The panel included the directors of the Retirement Research Centers at the University of Michigan, Boston College, and the National Bureau of Economic Research.

We are pleased to share that AARP selected seven policy innovations from 20 authors for further development and financial support. All proposals were reviewed by blind panels using a consistent scoring rubric. The slate of awardees reflects the concepts that ranked the highest under the blind review. Read

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