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Home > The Pros And Cons Of Social Security Privatization > Social Security Privatization Will Mostly Affect Women

Social Security has a great impact on the lives of every American. According to the Social Security Administration, more than forty-five million people today receive Social Security benefits. About thirty-two million of these people receiving benefits are retirees. However, Social Security is more than a retirement program. It is a form of protection program that safeguards the economic security of the workers and their families.

Almost sixty percent of the beneficiaries of Social Security aged 65 are women. In one of four women aged 65, Social Security is their only source of income. Hence, if Social Security is privatized, the women recipients will be mostly affected because women on average live longer than men. They will lose their retirement benefits and the program that keeps older women out of poverty. Additionally, the women would lose not only their retirement benefits but also their disability benefit. The fact is, if Social Security is privatized, it would be more generous to high wage earners most of whom are men and would be less generous to low earners especially women. Saving enough while you are still working to ensure that you do not outlive those savings is not enough.

Since President Bush ran for Congress in the 1970s, he had been pushing for the privatization of Social Security. His privatization plan aims to create small private accounts but keep the current system in place. The private accounts would only be a supplement to the current Social Security program. Bush even predicted that unless Social Security would be privatized it would go bankrupt by 1988. But that didn’t happened. The Congressional Budget Office said that Social Security will be able to pay full benefits until 2052 but of course will minor changes such as a raise in the cap of the taxable income.

Clearly, if Bush pushes through his privatization plan, it would be a windfall to Wall Street by a bust for working people especially women. Here’s why. First, it is estimated that the cost of establishing these private accounts would reach $4.9 trillion which would be taken form the Social Security trust fund. As most women earn less than $25,000 per years, the earnings on their private accounts would be eaten up by administrative fees. Second, as mentioned earlier, investing in private accounts would benefit the highest earners most of whom are men. Lastly, the private accounts would not guarantee benefits for as long as you live. This is especially important to women who live the longest.

According to the article written by Diana Zuckerman entitled Social Security and Women, she said that there are other alternatives to private accounts. One of which is to invest in Social Security bonds and stocks which would increase the rate of return. “Instead of privatized accounts….a part of the Social Security trust fund could be invested, thus reducing the investment risk for individuals.” It is, therefore, important for most of us, especially the decision makers, to see who will suffer most under privatization. It is essential to maintain guaranteed benefits that will provide economic safety for the most vulnerable citizens. Remember that most of these citizens are women.

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