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Old 04-19-2015, 05:03 PM
 
Location: Durham NC
1,190 posts, read 1,297,287 times
Reputation: 926

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Burkmere View Post
I read where the rate of return on as contributions is .3 of 1%. Basically nothing.
Yeah it is nothing but if all were allowed to invest their own money no return might look good compared to I lost 2/3 of my retirement account investing in a high flyer IPO fund or something like that. There would also be no employer contribution to the fund either.
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Old 04-19-2015, 07:46 PM
 
2,296 posts, read 1,561,711 times
Reputation: 2737
Quote:
Originally Posted by lancers View Post
Yeah it is nothing but if all were allowed to invest their own money no return might look good compared to I lost 2/3 of my retirement account investing in a high flyer IPO fund or something like that. There would also be no employer contribution to the fund either.
Well, Big Government Brother shouldn't coddle people from birth to grave. Or there could be an option for an automatic conservative investment.

The chief problem with the country isn't not enough government control, BUT WAY TOO MUCH!!
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Old 04-20-2015, 03:21 AM
 
20,770 posts, read 13,763,409 times
Reputation: 14431
Christie is just running is fat mouth, again. Half of what his proposal contains will never see the light of day.

First SS is basically a guaranteed annuity based upon a worker's contributions. If you pay in enough to receive you *must* get those benefits. End of story.

The payroll cap is around $150K so who would Mr. Christie square subjecting those making >80K to FICA payroll taxes but not including those amounts in their benefits? Are they just supposed to pay into a government fund that gives them nothing? That sounds like and is welfare/redistribution of wealth and as such would be DOA in Congress.

As things currently stand SS benefits are skewed towards those at the lower earnings scale. They receive more back than those who made near or at the maximum during their working qualifying period. Also since SS payments are taxed at a certain level higher income recipients already receive less value from their benefits than those with lower incomes.

You want to means test something? Start with spousal and survivor benefits. Many European countries already do this and it works well. There is a vast difference between a widow or widower left with a vast fortune including life insurance and substantial savings/investments/assets versus someone with nothing trying to live on a small SS pension. And before anyone starts no, in neither case did the spouse or surviving "earn" those benefits. They are bestowed by virtue of marriage.

In fact SS is lone among insurance an annuity polices where single/never married/childless persons pay the same rates as those with families and spouses. You've got men out there with one, two or maybe more divorced wives *and* a surviving spouse all collecting SS benefits from his lone contributions.
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Old 04-20-2015, 03:31 AM
 
71,617 posts, read 71,751,865 times
Reputation: 49222
i agree , survivor benefits for ex's could be tightened up and means tested better.

spousal benefits are another story as they save the system big dollars.

many of those shooting for that 70 benefit delay , take a small token spousal benefit and never live to collect or break even.

delaying for that 70 benefit while collecting spousal helps medicare too . if you are collecting your medicare increases are capped by your cola amount . but if you delay and take spousal your medicare increases are uncapped and have been quite high in comparison.

not many who delay would delay if there were no token spousal benefits to take. all those who die before break even would now get full payment from ss if they filed early.in fact if many of those who delay filed at 62 insted the system would implode .
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Old 04-20-2015, 04:30 AM
 
Location: NC Piedmont
3,911 posts, read 2,879,340 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BugsyPal View Post
First SS is basically a guaranteed annuity based upon a worker's contributions. If you pay in enough to receive you *must* get those benefits. End of story.
You are already off the tracks here. The first recipients never paid a dime; theirs was paid by the next generation, whose in turn was paid by the next... And so it goes until today. An annuity is paid in advance; SS never was. SS is insurance against having nothing if other sources run out and needs to pay everyone at least enough to get by on. It's a safety net, not an investment.
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Old 04-20-2015, 07:01 AM
 
Location: North Idaho
2,172 posts, read 2,084,322 times
Reputation: 2599
Quote:
Originally Posted by BugsyPal View Post
First SS is basically a guaranteed annuity based upon a worker's contributions. If you pay in enough to receive you *must* get those benefits. End of story.
There is nothing about social security that is guaranteed. Like any other government program it can always be changed by vote of Congress.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BugsyPal View Post
The payroll cap is around $150K so who would Mr. Christie square subjecting those making >80K to FICA payroll taxes but not including those amounts in their benefits?
The payroll cap in 2015 is $118,500.
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Old 04-20-2015, 08:17 AM
 
29,782 posts, read 34,871,258 times
Reputation: 11705
Quote:
Originally Posted by tom1944 View Post
Tuborg- but these current public pensions have verifiable 30 plus years of returns on which the pension is based on. The pensions paid to current retirees and those near retirement have been paid for based on the formula that was established.
Yes and as all investors know previous returns are no prediction of future returns. All of us needs to know how well funded are personal pension plans are now and what is the average return for the last ten years. Are they back to recession levels and is the funding agency meeting those commitments. Perhaps most importantly as with SS will younger members be as committed to if their is real uncertainty in the future for them. Sorta just like SS.
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Old 04-20-2015, 08:19 AM
 
29,782 posts, read 34,871,258 times
Reputation: 11705
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cameron60 View Post
Didn't read through all the posts but when I think of means testing, asset testing come to mind in addition to income.
Has asset testing been brought up?
Oh yes, it is there in think tank discussions and elsewhere.
http://www.actuary.org/pdf/socialsec...means_0104.pdf
Quote:
● Similarly, an asset test could include all assets or exclude widely held assets such as houses and cars;
● The means test could be applied one time when benefits begin or at regular intervals after benefits begin;
● The test could eliminate benefits altogether for those exceeding the threshold, or phase out benefits
gradually as income or assets increase beyond the threshold.
● The Medicare reform package enacted by Congress late in 2003 includes means testing provisions, which
increase the Part B premium for high-income retirees, and bases the cost to the participant of the new
drug benefit in part on current income and assets.
Several proposals for applying means testing to Social Security benefits have been made, but the proposal that
has gained the most public attention came from the Concord Coalition, a bipartisan group of fiscal conservatives.
The Concord Coalition made its proposal, which it calls “affluence testing,” in the mid-1990s and has not
updated it recently, so some of the specific dollar thresholds are now outdated. Under affluence testing as originally
proposed, Social Security benefits would begin to be reduced if family income exceeds $40,000 with reductions
reaching 85 percent if family income exceeds $120,000
http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/...testing-obama/

Quote:
Democrats have consistently opposed means-testing both because they aim to grow the welfare state, not reduce it, and because they sincerely believed that support for these programs would erode if they were seen as welfare programs for the poor. The latter conclusion, I think, no longer holds water. The public has come a long way on the debt, and just as they have accepted a progressive income tax, they will, if both parties get on board, accept that the rich must pay a little more. (Isn’t that what the president keeps saying about taxes?)
The above is from a Washington Post OP-Ed and reflects thinking that proposals to ration SS benefits in a different fashion could really just be a back door way to erode support and do away with.

Last edited by TuborgP; 04-20-2015 at 08:32 AM..
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Old 04-20-2015, 08:35 AM
 
29,782 posts, read 34,871,258 times
Reputation: 11705
Quote:
Originally Posted by lenora View Post
Now that would be a hoot. But, no, that will never happen for more reasons than I have time to list.
Yeah, that would severely disrupt the economy and have massive capital investment consequences.
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Old 04-20-2015, 10:00 AM
 
1,512 posts, read 966,043 times
Reputation: 2858
Quote:
Originally Posted by VJDAY81445 View Post
Seems most posters automatically believe if SS was done away with everyone would invest in high return investments and retire well off.

I have bridges to sell those folk

The govt would be supporting a lot of old people via welfare if SS was done away with.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Escort Rider View Post
Ding, ding, ding! We have a winner!

On a societal level, if the "savings" weren't forced via mandatory FICA tax deductions, then LOTS of people simply would not save at all, and I don't mean only poor people, but lots of middle class people wouldn't save either. That is human nature - tomorrow is a long way off and many people would choose to live it up today.

And let's not have the argument that they can just live under bridges and dumpster dive in old age, because our society would not allow that and we (that is, government) would be supporting them anyway.

I had an uncle, now deceased, who used to rail against Social Security. "Let me choose to do it myself", he would say, "It's wrong for Big Brother government to force me to save that way". You can guess what I'm going to write next: If it weren't for Social Security he would have been totally destitute in old age; he never could manage money worth a damn, so SS is what he lived off for the last years of his life.
Cannot agree more ... even Ayn Rand turned to Social Security in her old age.

SS is solvent many years into the future. Seems like it is always about 12 years away from "going broke!" Because it needs tweaking. Because everything needs tweaking if it is to go beyond a couple of years. But still, it is better funded into the future than ANY OTHER program we have.

SS will be there in ten years, twenty years, fifty years ... there will be some tweaks and adjustments, but the adults will take charge of the conversation again when it is needed. My best guess is rather than moves to only limit, it will actually be expanded and broadened and millions will be better off, including businesses who depend on ... customers.
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