Research Report Five Democratic Approaches to Social Security Reform: Estimated Impact of Plans from the 2020 Presidential Campaign
Karen E. Smith, Richard W. Johnson, Melissa M. Favreault
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Several candidates for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination developed detailed Social Security plans, which illustrate the spectrum of reform approaches being considered by the party. This report examines Social Security proposals from Joe Biden, Pete Buttigieg, Amy Klobuchar, Bernie Sanders, and Elizabeth Warren and compares their projected impact on beneficiaries, taxpayers, and system solvency. All these plans would significantly expand Social Security, and none would reduce scheduled payments to any beneficiaries. All would reduce Social Security’s long-term financing gap by raising taxes on workers with substantial earnings and thus eliminate or delay potential solvency-related benefit cuts, helping beneficiaries at all income levels.

Research Areas Wealth and financial well-being Aging and retirement Taxes and budgets
Tags Social Security Economic well-being Disabilities and employment Retirement Federal budget and economy Campaigns, proposals, and reforms Retirement policy Federal tax issues and reform proposals
Policy Centers Income and Benefits Policy Center