All sorts of Options have been expounded for reforming the Social Security system This Author has provided more than one. Arnold Kling at Econlog posted a Thread on Steuerle' idea to raise the Retirement age before eligilibility for Benefits. The Author provided commentary stating such an increase in Age limit stands as unsalable to the American Public. He then advanced another alternate Proposal, which would work equally as well. (Sorry for the lack of provision of Web address)
Cubicle Retirement Planning starts with a simple premise: Retirees need substantially more Income some decades after initial Period of Retirement in order to meet increased Medical and Living Costs. Workers, though, do not desire tampering (by Anyone) with their schedule of Retirement.
1) A base Benefit will be set and granted to all Recipients to insure Subsistence for Lower-Income levels.
2) Eligilibility will still be calculated as is done currently.
3) Benefit Payment schedules, though, will be assigned by Decades (40 Quarters)
4) The first Ten Years of Retirement will be paid according to the Taxes paid in the first 40 Quarters, the second Ten Years of Retirement will be paid according to the Taxes paid in the second 40 Quarters, etc.
5) Disability will be paid according to an averaging of the Decade levels.
The easiest method of thinking of the program is that your Benefits will be determined by the Social Security Taxes you have paid prior to a Date some 30 or 35 Years before, with Adjustment coming at the completion of every Decade of Retirement. Full implementation of the Plan would save an (Author-estimated) 6-10% of the total Cost of the Retirement system, with the least impact on beneficiaries. Wage-indexing could be kept to maintain the living standard of Retired People, and Medicare premiums could be scaled by decade as well, to best enhance the ability to pay. No Plan is perfect when considering retirement and Pension systems, but Cubicle Planning shifts the burden to Those most able to Pay. lgl