Social Security

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Social Security

A program of the United States federal government that provides income to disabled and (especially) elderly people. That is, persons who have paid into the Social Security system for a certain period of time are eligible to receive what amounts to a government pension in retirement or in the event of disability. It is paid out of the Social Security trust fund and is financed through FICA taxes. Because Social Security is the single largest expense of the federal budget, periodic attempts are made to wholly or partly privatize Social Security, though opponents claim that doing so would make the American social safety net less secure. See also: SSI, TANF, SCHIP.

Social Security.

Social Security is a federal government program designed to provide income for qualifying retired people, their dependents, and disabled people who meet the Social Security test for disability.

You qualify for retirement benefits if you have had at least the minimum required payroll tax withheld from your wages for 40 quarters, the equivalent of 10 years.

The minimum for each quarter is set by Congress and increases slightly each year. You earn credits toward disability coverage in the same way.

The amount you receive in Social Security retirement benefits, up to the annual cap, is determined by the payroll taxes you paid during your working life, which were matched by an equal tax paid by your employers. Some of your benefit may be subject to income tax if your income plus half your benefit is higher than the ceiling Congress sets.

References in periodicals archive ?
Under a fully funded Social Security system, people fund their own retirement by the amounts they actually contribute to their personal accounts," Ehrlich explains.
Any change to the Social Security system could produce serious effects for lots of Americans, especially the elderly.
Thus, instead of relying completely on the Social Security system for retirement incomes, workers will have the ability to gain a perhaps higher level of interest from their private investments.
South Africa's current social security system is dogged with problems and contradictions.
But now, when payroll taxes are no longer projected to be sufficient to pay even currently legislated benefits, moving toward a system of general revenue finance raises the concern that the fiscal discipline of the current social security system could be reduced.
The principal goals of this article are to describe the basic differences between these two types of social security system, to indicate why these differences are important, and to explain, using Mexico as an example, why it may be surprisingly difficult to determine which type of system a country actually has.
An expansion of the pay-as-you-go social security system benefits current urban retirees, and may solve the social security payment problem faced by many state enterprises.
Feldstein and Ranguelova explore the risk aspects of a fully phased-in investment-based Social Security system.
And as with most witch-hunts, the constant Sturm und Drang of media hoopla functions as a contemporary incarnation of ancient Rome's bread and circuses, concealing far more important issues like crime, foreign policy, a failing Social Security system.
A bipartisan group is seeking to jumpstart efforts to deal with the looming insolvency of the nation's Social Security system by imposing new, unfunded federal mandates on cities and towns and by increasing federal spending by more than $65 billion.
And one year from now, I will convene the leaders of Congress to craft historic bipartisan legislation to achieve a landmark for our generation: a Social Security system that is strong in the 21st century.
There were reasons FDR started the Social Security system with a payroll tax back in the 1930s.

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