We stand at the crossroads in deciding the future of the Social Security System.
However, we are ill-prepared to choose which path to take. The options proposed—
large-scale government investment in the stock market, a new mandatory savings plan for
individuals, or partial "privatization" of the current system—would lead us
in profoundly different directions. Yet we understand only vaguely the impact each would
have on our retirement security, social relationships, and the economy.
The papers in this book examine how we can better assess these and other Social
Security reform alternatives, and they provide a preview of the forthcoming policy debate.
To this end, some of the nation's leading authorities on Social Security take a first look
at EBRI-SSASIM2, a state-of-the-art computer model that the Employee Benefit Research
Institute is developing to clarify the web of demographic, economic, psychological,
social, and political factors that lie behind various reform proposals.