The future of Social Security is cloudy, as balances in the program’s trust funds are running low. Fixing the problem requires an increase in funding, a reduction in benefits or some combination of both.
While lawmakers in Washington remain at loggerheads over which fix to employ, the American Academy of Actuaries wants to know how you would put Social Security on the road to stability.
The academy has rolled out a new online tool that allows you to educate yourself about what ails Social Security. Once you have a firm grasp of the situation, you can cast your vote for the changes you deem most appropriate.
The academy invites you to visit a virtual town — Townsville — and learn the take of various residents who discuss different ways to repair Social Security and the impact these changes might have on the people in the town.
According to a CNBC report:
“At locations including the park, the gym and the post office, residents discuss their concerns or opinions about possible changes, such as increasing the amount of payroll taxes the wealthy pay or increasing benefits for the lowest earners.”
At the end of the process, you look over a host of possible options for reform and select the one you like best. You will then see how well your selection works to solve the problem.
The Social Security Board of Trustees recently released its annual report on the state of Social Security and estimated that by 2033, the Old-Age and Survivors Insurance trust fund reserves, which pay for Social Security retirement benefits, will be depleted.
At that point, there would only be enough funding to cover 77% of retirement benefits.
For more on the report, check out “Here’s What Will Happen When Social Security and Medicare Funds Run Dry.”