, Salem, MA

June 15, 2013

Letter: Give back now and save for the future

The Salem News

---- — To the editor:

Everyone knows our Social Security system will be soon overburdened as the baby boomers come on board. I would like to make a proposal that would help Social Security get through the coming tough times, and remain in good shape well into the foreseeable future. Someone would have to take this idea, think it through, and make it work. I don’t have the knowledge of the system to figure out all the details, but the seed of the suggestion is this: All Social Security recipients would have a vote on whether to re-invest just a half of 1 percent of their monthly check to saving Social Security or not. If approved by the majority of current recipients, this money would go into a special “third fund” (there are two funds that now distribute money to Social Security recipients). This third fund could not be touched, for any reason, until needed to assist distribution by the other two funds. The estimated date this third fund would be required to help? The year 2033, and this is enough time to accumulate a huge balance as a backup!

What’s good about this idea is that it would be the recipients of Social Security themselves who will be saving the system, not the government. And while it is a very small amount given from each recipient, it amounts to a huge pile of money when pooled and accumulating interest!

For this to work, the dedicated payroll tax must remain the same and stay on track. And, there should be no other changes in the system. The money collected in the third fund is for the future and should not figure into any short-term shenanigans.

There are many exciting aspects to this plan, and I sincerely hope some of our forward-thinking friends in political office see the benefits, and make this plan into something that would work! This makes sense for all that are Social Security recipients now, for all those currently working that will need to rely on these benefits in the future, and for their children as well. It is the future of Social Security that we will save for them, by doing a little now!

I am 85 years old, and suggest this plan not for myself, but for my children, their children, and so on. And it is for the future of your children! Please consider what I am proposing. It would work if enough of us care to make it work. Please write to the editor of this paper if you have further ideas, and I look forward very much to hearing your thoughts on this!

Bert Martin