Social Security

A United States federal program of social insurance and benefits developed in 1935. The Social Security program's benefits include retirement income, disability income, Medicare and Medicaid, and death and survivorship benefits. Social Security is one of the largest government programs in the world, paying out hundreds of billions of dollars per year.

Based on the year someone was born, retirement benefits may begin as early as age 62 and as late as age 67. The amount of income received is based on the average wages earned over the worker's lifetime, with a maximum calculable amount of $102,000 as of 2008. Spouses are also eligible to receive Social Security benefits, even if they have limited or non-existent work histories.

The original program was part of President Franklin D. Roosevelt's New Deal plan to lift the U.S. out of the Great Depression. Today, the program is funded through payroll taxes collected by employees and companies; monies are placed into the Social Security Trust Fund and payments are managed by the government along with the Federal Reserve Board.

Social Security has faced serious solvency issues for many decades; today's payments are made from current payroll contributions by workers who may not have money available for them when they retire. Social security reform, whether through legislation, tax law changes, or privatization, has been a major political issue that draws strong opinions from different demographic segments.

Social Security faces the real threat of becoming insolvent because of factors such as longer life expectancies, a large baby boomer population currently entering retirement age, and inflation.


Investment dictionary. . 2012.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Social security — primarily refers to a social insurance program providing social protection, or protection against socially recognized conditions, including poverty, old age, disability, unemployment and others. Social security may refer to: * social insurance,… …   Wikipedia

  • Social security — Social Security, Synonym für die öffentliche Rentenversicherung der USA. Vollständige Bezeichnung: Old Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance (OASDI). Inhaltsverzeichnis 1 Vorbemerkungen 2 Geschichte 3 Leistungen der Social Security 4… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Social Security — n 1: the principle or practice or a program of public provision (as through social insurance or assistance) for the economic security and social welfare of the individual and his or her family; esp often cap both Ss: a U.S. government program… …   Law dictionary

  • social security — ˌsocial seˈcurity noun [uncountable] FINANCE 1. government money that is paid to people who are unemployed, old, or ill; = welfare AmE: • Are you receiving social security benefits? …   Financial and business terms

  • social security — social se curity n [U] 1.) BrE government money that is paid to people who are unemployed, old, ill etc American Equivalent: welfare ▪ social security benefits be/live on social security (=be receiving money from the government) 2.) Social… …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • social security — social se curity noun uncount ** 1. ) Social Security a U.S. government program that workers must pay money into, that gives money to people who are old or cannot work a ) money that you receive from social security 2. ) the system by which the… …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • social security — ► NOUN ▪ (in the UK) state financial assistance for people with an inadequate or no income …   English terms dictionary

  • social security — ☆ social security n. 1. any system by which a group provides for those of its members who may be in need 2. [usually S S ] in the U.S., a federal system of old age, unemployment, or disability insurance for various categories of employed and… …   English World dictionary

  • social security — 1. (usually caps.) a program of old age, unemployment, health, disability, and survivors insurance maintained by the U.S. federal government through compulsory payments by specific employer and employee groups. 2. the theory or practice of… …   Universalium

  • Social Security — Siegel der Social Security Administration (SSA) Social Security, Synonym für die öffentliche Rentenversicherung ist Teil des Sozialversicherungssystems der USA. Vollständige Bezeichnung: Old Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance (OASDI). Sie… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • social security — noun 1 (BrE) money paid by the government to people who are poor, unemployed, etc. ⇨ See also ↑welfare … OF SOCIAL SECURITY ▪ system VERB + SOCIAL SECURITY ▪ be entitled to, claim, receive ▪ …   Collocations dictionary

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