The Federal Insurance Contribution Act (FICA) is part of the social security program planned by the federal government to provide economic security…

The Federal Insurance Contribution Act (FICA) is part of the social security program planned by the federal government to provide economic security for workers and their families. Employers and employees pay a tax that is credited to a “Federal Old-Age and Survivor’s Trust Fund” and the “Federal Disability Insurance Trust Fund.” These funds will assist those in retirement, those who are stricken with a disability, and families in tragic circumstances where the financial provider for the family dies leaving dependents that need economic assistance.

We are all aware of the concept of social security related to retirement. We meet an age criteria determined by the government and can apply to receive retirement benefits from the federal government. Those benefits are based on a formula of what you and your employers have paid into the fund and the age you elect to start receiving the benefit. Note: this benefit is until death.

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In recent years there has been a proposal that the individual should have control over investing the monies that will become their retirement plan. A separate fund would be established, and based upon the investments made by the worker, they will build a fund that they can draw upon when they retire. This would eliminate all or a portion of the government payment outside of the individual fund.

What do you think?

  • Should individuals be allowed to establish their own investment accounts for retirement, or should the program remain the same?
  • Who should pay the fees to manage the individual investment accounts? It is known that the social security management system is one of the most efficient federal programs paying a fraction of the fees common to individual investors.
  • What should be done with funds that are established but lose money? Do we need a government plan for those that retire with lost earnings? Or, what about those who work at very low wages and could not accumulate a large enough retirement account to survive on?
  • Also, do you think there should be annual limits to Social Security income? This is referring to the amount of one’s income that is taxed with Social Security and not how much one can earn in a given year. For example, if I earned $150,000 and the current Social Security wage limit was $120,000, then only $120,000 of my total income would be taxed for Social Security and the other $30,000 would not be taxed. Should my entire income be taxed? Should there be a limit?
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