Means-Testing for Benefits

Background

Some proposals for Social Security’s long-term solvency would base the receipt of Social Security benefits on the income people have outside of Social Security. Social Security benefits could be reduced or eliminated for people with incomes above a certain threshold. Such means-testing would change the nature of the program. It would alter the relationship between contributions to Social Security and the benefits received and could also erode the principle of universality. Many analysts reject such proposals. They fear it would have an adverse effect on individuals’ willingness to participate in the Social Security system.

MEANS-TESTING FOR SOCIAL SECURITY BENEFITS: Policy

MEANS-TESTING FOR SOCIAL SECURITY BENEFITS: Policy

Means tests

The receipt of Social Security benefits should continue to be based on earnings from work covered by Social Security. It should not be affected by other income sources or subject to other tests.