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.