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Social Security: Ten Facts that Matter

Social Security insures families against the loss of income caused by retirement, disability, or death, with nearly universal coverage; Social Security insurance covers 94 percent of workers in paid employment and self-employment. The program has been a success; however, Social Security has a long-term solvency challenge.

This Fact Sheet discusses ten important facts regarding Social Security and its future:

  • Social Security insurance protects all age groups.
  • Social Security provides a retirement benefit that is guaranteed for life and is adjusted to keep pace with inflation.
  • Social Security benefits are adequately funded for another 32 years.
  • Social Security is the principal source of family income for nearly half of older Americans.
  • Social Security keeps older Americans out of poverty.
  • Social Security benefits are progressive.
  • Social Security is crucial for women.
  • Social Security provides critical income support to minorities.
  • Trust fund assets earned interest at 5.1 percent in 2008, and the cost of administering Social Security is minimal.
  • Social Security is the foundation of workers' retirement security, but it was never intended to be the only source.

(6 pages)