Social Security IRAWhile Congress and President Obama battle over ways to "fix" Social Security, the Association of Mature American Citizens sees a possible solution to part of the reform brouhaha -- a Social Security IRA.

In a recent poll, 80% of the members of the small group that bills itself as "the conservative alternative to AARP," said they support the idea of a Social Security IRA being part of a comprehensive Social Security reform package.

Those AMAC members surveyed backed the notion of younger people being able to have a tax deductible Social Security retirement account that they could start drawing upon between the ages of 62 and 65.

In a prepared statement, Dan Weber, AMAC's president, suggested that such Social Security IRAs could be sold by current providers and that ideally, employers would be encouraged to offer payroll deductions for such accounts, allowing them to voluntarily match a portion of what their employees put in. As described on the organization's website, the Social Security IRA would be tax deductible, payroll deducted and put into an individual IRA owned by the wage earner. The funds invested would not be accessible until either age 62 or 65. It could be started with as little as $5 per week and be put into a plan offered by the same companies that presently offer IRAs and 401(k)s.

The Downside of IRAs: Risk

However, Social Security IRAs are not issue-free. "The biggest risk would be that people that depend on Social Security the most would not be able to handle the ups and downs of the markets and would make poor investment decisions if left to their own devices," says Benjamin Stacy, senior vice president, investments at Hager Dennerll & Stacy Wealth Solutions of Raymond James & Associates. "Now, if the proposal would be to have a professional invest a portion of that over time, this would be a boon for our country and the overall soundness of the system."

Then too, "The big problem is how to convince Congress and the White House that SS IRAs are economically efficient and politically feasible," says professor Zvi Bodie of the Boston University School of Management. "I believe a private retirement annuity solution, a partnership between employers and employees, would be much easier to sell in Washington." The AMAC's lobbying power in D.C. would certainly be dwarfed by that of the AARP, whose membership of more than 40 million is at least 250 times as large as that of the conservative group.

Also, in AMAC's poll, 10% said they would favor simply changing the maximum benefits package from 66 to 69 without a Social Security IRA option. Fully 90% said they would opt for an increase in the age of eligibility to 69.

AMAC members however, pretty much gave a thumbs down to the idea of raising payroll taxes. Only 7% favored a hike in payroll taxes as a means of keeping Social Security solvent.

What do you see as a fix for Social Security?
Raise taxes1473 (30.1%)
Reduce Spending2342 (47.8%)
Social Security IRAs661 (13.5%)
Chuck the system and start over from scratch425 (8.7%)


Weber says his 160,000 member organization is revved up about offering solutions, particularly after President Obama's pronouncement that Social Security checks might not be mailed on Aug. 3 if Congress doesn't take action on the debt ceiling issue.

Said Weber, "The numbers clearly speak for themselves and they show older Americans want meaningful reforms of Social Security. They want real reforms that not only help maintain the solvency of the fund, but give future retirees an opportunity to enhance retirement benefits through such means as tax deductible IRAs."

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mmcdonald2k

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Michael McDonald

July 23 2011 at 12:12 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
nthereoff

TAX THE RICH MORE ,THEY PROBABLY CAN AFFORD IT.[1 MILLION OR MORE A YEAR] PEOPLE AND FAMILY MAKING $250 THOUSAND A YEAR OR ABOUT LEAVE ALONE. THEY ARE BEING TAX MORE THEN MOST ALREADY..

July 20 2011 at 11:39 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
vcgh2000

tid-pelosi- and little joey....I leave you with this quote (which I hope your capable of understanding)....
"We hate some persons because we do not know them,and we will not know them because we hate them."
Charles Caleb Colton

July 19 2011 at 8:47 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
vcgh2000

pelosi and/or tid are suffering from a problem called Cognitive Dissonance...they tend to disregard any information that might contradict what they believe in, in a negative light
As a Former Republican, I read these articles to "test" what I believed in. I read the Pentagon Papers and found just how misinformed I was about the war, and just how easy it was to deceive the masses. When Spiro Agnew essentially said "they got what they deserved" at Kent State my break became permanent.

July 19 2011 at 12:10 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to vcgh2000's comment
vcgh2000

should have added later dudes....peace!

July 19 2011 at 12:12 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
vcgh2000

The bottom 50% of the people in this country control 2.2% of the wealth.....the top one thousand 7.7 trillion dollars

July 18 2011 at 11:10 PM Report abuse -5 rate up rate down Reply
vcgh2000

tid is in denial.

July 18 2011 at 9:28 AM Report abuse -2 rate up rate down Reply
nthereoff

NOT MY SS MONEY LET CONGRESS MEMBER INVEST IN IT. SELL HIGH AND BUY LOW ,, BUT WHEN IS THAT? NO THANKS

July 18 2011 at 8:37 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
nr3rd

imagine, if each person had a personal ss IRA then the congress would not have access to those funds to mix with the generak fund...that alone could solve a lot of the problem...and it's pretty wel accepted that despite the risk they mention, a vangaurd fund typically grows by 10- 12% annually...some the ss fund has never done...

July 18 2011 at 6:50 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
Loneagle

How about abolishing congressional special pension programs and make them pay into SS just like every other working stiff?

July 18 2011 at 2:36 AM Report abuse +6 rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to Loneagle's comment
jhooperaa

Now your talking crazy. Politicans having the same pension system as the little people who elect them? God fordbid. That will never happen. What we need is term limits but that will never happen either. The only thing that is going to fix the mess in Washington will be when the vaST MAJORITY OF Americans wake up and realize what the politicans are doing to America. I think that will only happen after the next financial collapse which will be worse than 2008. That collapse will cause change in America. It will be painful and long and no one will escape it.

July 18 2011 at 4:43 AM Report abuse +6 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to jhooperaa's comment
vcgh2000

The one problem littering the economic landscape is called a "Credit Default Swap". A type of complex instrument that Investment Banks issue that even some people in finance don't understand.There is probably a quadtrillion dollars of these financial instruments in play right here in the United States ready to cause the ultimate crisis.

July 18 2011 at 9:26 AM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down
ivotedabsentee

Members of Congress do pay into Social Security and have done so since 1984. The Congressional retirement system is nearly identical to the Federal Employees Retirement System.

see:

http://www.senate.gov/CRSReports/crs-publish.cfm?pid=2C*PLC8%22%40%20%20%0A

for more information on how the Congressional retirement system works.

July 18 2011 at 10:16 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
goldaxe

How about......Leave the social security money alone.

July 18 2011 at 1:49 AM Report abuse +4 rate up rate down Reply