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Master's Professional Reports Abstract

Social Security Reform: The Inevitable Separation of Goals

The major Social Security reform options call for structural change to the system. Two reforms in particular, greater pre-funding and the establishment of individual accounts, appear to be politically popular, but are mired in a debate over implementation that includes private management and capital market investment. In order to resolve this conflict, a clear separation of the personal savings goal and the collective insurance goal needs articulation. Financial levers -- such as tax rates and benefit levels -- are important for solvency, but are secondary to this debate. This report seeks to illustrate how the reform effort is moving to a separation of goals within Social Security and how particular policy options could strengthen both the insurance and the savings objectives of the program.

--Author's foreword.