First Person: Raising the Retirement Age Will Not Fix Social Security

Yahoo Contributor Network

COMMENTARY | The Associated Press reported that The Business Roundtable, a group of CEOs from some of the nation's largest corporations and chaired by Caesar's Entertainment CEO and President Gary Loveman, is proposing that the full retirement age for Social Security be raised to 70 years old.

While I understand that current projections indicate that Social Security will run out of money by 2033 if changes to the system are not enacted, I do not think more cuts are the solution.

For most, if not all, of these business leaders, Social Security is an insignificant portion of their retirement plans. Large net worth and golden parachutes will fund their retirement years. For the average American, a comfortable retirement is dependent on Social Security income.

For me, Social Security, both the amount and the year in which I can collect, is an important element of my retirement plan. My family has already been affected by previous cuts to benefits. My children collect survivor benefits because their father died. Benefits used to pay through college, now they only pay through high school.

According to Forbes, Loveman is #249 on the magazine's list of CEOs by compensation, earning $6.97 million annually. The maximum taxable wage for Social Security is $113,700 in 2013. Loveman's maximum contribution to Social Security is $7,049.40. for 2013. Loveman contributes slightly more than .1% of his total compensation to the Social Security fund. I, on the other hand, contribute 6.2% of my wages and 15.3% of my self-employment earnings.

Remove the cap and Loveman would pay 6.2% (the same rate I pay) on his entire income. His contribution would rise to $432,140.

Randall L. Stephenson, Chairman and CEO of AT & T, also sits on The Business Roundtable and was quoted in the article.

"The facts are clear: If we want future generations to have access to Social Security and Medicare, America can no longer afford to wait," Stephenson said.

I agree. We can no longer wait. I, along with millions of other Americans, am depending on Social Security for a comfortable retirement. Delaying our retirement or increasing our contributions during the remainder of our working years is not acceptable.

Stephenson is listed on Forbes' list at #34 in CEO compensation. His Social Security contribution is likewise capped at $7,049.40. Forbes reports his annual compensation to be $26 million. His Social Security contribution is .027%. If he paid 6.2%, Stephenson's contribution would be $1,612,000.

Requiring every American worker to pay their full 6.2% contribution would definitely help shore up the fledgling Social Security fund and is a better plan than delaying Social Security benefits for workers who depend on this income to secure their ability to retire while they are still able to enjoy retirement.

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