Policy Basics: Top Ten Facts about Social Security

Source: Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, Updated November 6, 2012

From the summary:
President Franklin Roosevelt signed the Social Security Act on August 14, 1935. Almost eight decades later, Social Security remains one of the nation’s most successful, effective, and popular programs. It provides a foundation of income on which workers can build to plan for their retirement. It also provides valuable social insurance protection to workers who become disabled and to families whose breadwinner dies.

Fact #1: Social Security is more than just a retirement program. It provides important life insurance and disability insurance protection as well….
Fact #2: Social Security provides a guaranteed, progressive benefit that keeps up with increases in the cost of living….
Fact #3: Social Security provides a foundation of retirement protection for nearly every American, and its benefits are not means-tested….
Fact #4: Social Security benefits are modest….
Fact #5: Children have an important stake in Social Security….
Fact #6: Almost half of the elderly would be poor without Social Security. Social Security lifts 14 million elderly Americans out of poverty….
Fact #7: Most elderly beneficiaries rely on Social Security for the majority of their income….
Fact #8: Social Security is particularly important for minorities….
Fact #9: Social Security is especially beneficial for women….
Fact #10: Social Security can pay full benefits through 2033 without any changes. Relatively modest changes would place the program on a sound financial footing for 75 years and beyond….
Why Minorities Need Social Security More
Source: Center for Retirement Research at Boston College, Financial Security Project, Squared Away blog, February 7, 2013