A Targeted Minimum Benefit Plan: A New Proposal to Reduce Poverty Among Older Social Security Recipients

Research Report

A Targeted Minimum Benefit Plan: A New Proposal to Reduce Poverty Among Older Social Security Recipients

Abstract

In light of concerns about Social Security costs and benefit adequacy, we propose an effective and relatively inexpensive targeted program to provide a minimally adequate floor to old-age income through the program. This minimum benefit plan would provide a cost-effective method for reducing elder poverty to low levels. A key element is that the benefit would not count toward other social programs’ income eligibility thresholds. Other aspects include an income-tested benefit that would bring beneficiaries to the poverty threshold; application by filing of a 1040 income tax return; and setting of benefit levels and distribution through the Social Security Administration.

This article was originally published on-line in February, 2018 in RSF: The Russell Sage Foundation Journal of the Social Sciences 4(2): 74-90. The article was published under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

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