Individual accounts have become a popular feature in Social Security reform proposals during the past several years. However, the precise meaning of "individual accounts" is unclear, as approaches vary greatly in their financing, management, and structure. The diversity of approaches reflects variation in the objectives people have for individual accounts and the assumptions they make about how a given approach will work. This brief draws, in part, on the experience of other countries in exploring the choices facing designers of individual accounts in the United States.
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