This simulation needs to be conducted in its entirety as it is an integrated experience.

Users are introduced to the Social Security program. They are told about the shortfall and how if it is not addressed there will be a reduction in Social Security benefits. Users then evaluate options for reducing the shortfall.  In addition they consider options for raising benefits for some populations and for changing the way that cost of living adjustments (COLAs) are made.

In the end they make their final recommendations in an integrated spread sheet, getting instant feedback about the impact of their choices on the Social Security shortfall. (Results shown below are for the final recommendations)

 

Addressing the Shortfall Results
  • Whether to lower monthly benefits for those in the upper 25%, 40%, or 50% of earners
National and By Party By Demographics
  • Whether to raise the retirement age to 68, 69, or 70
National and By Party By Demographics
  • Whether to raise or eliminate the cap on income subject to the payroll tax
National and By Party By Demographics
  • Whether to raise the payroll tax rate to 6.6%, 6.9%, or 7.2%
National and By Party By Demographics

 

Raising Benefits for Specific Populations Results
  • Whether to raise the minimum monthly benefit for those who have worked 30 years
National and By Party By Demographics
  • Whether to raise the benefits for the very old
National and By Party By Demographics
Calculating COLAs Results
  • Whether to base COLAs on the chained CPI, the inflation rate for items that elderly people tend to buy, or the current CPI
National and By Party By Demographics