Understanding Social Security

Social Security may be a commonly known but a least understood concept that many people seem to take for granted. In the US, it has been able to service quite number of people especially those considered to be the indigents in the population. Even for those who think that they may have no need for Social Security such as the well off, it is still important to learn the basics and better understand just how Social Security works to serve people.

By putting it simply, Social Security is a social insurance program that is paid for by working employees in the form of taxes. In the US, the fund is entrusted certain trust funds that look after the needs of retirees, disabled persons, survivors or provide aid for cases of death in the family. The system works in with the working population paying taxes into Social Security where the money collected is then used to provide benefits to people who have retired or disabled, survivors of deceased workers, as well as certain dependents and beneficiaries.

The money that each worker pays on Social Security is not held or kept into a personal account that will be used when he or she starts receiving benefits from it. Instead, the money is used to pay those people who are currently getting benefits. What money is left unused after paying all the Social Security beneficiaries is then kept into the Social Security trust funds and not on any personal accounts.

Contrary than what most people believe, Social Security covers more than just a person’s retirement. It is not just a retirement program. It also covers benefits provided to the disabled, for beneficiaries of workers with Social Security as well as their survivors and dependents of deceased workers. Social Security covers a wide range of services that seek to help out a greater number of the US population especially those who are in helpless conditions.

For retirees, Social Security can also provide for a substantial amount of income. But Social Security payments alone may not be able to provide a comfortable income for retirees. On average, Social Security pension may only be able to provide about 40 percent of a retiree’s income. The remainder may be provided from other sources.


Posted by Ardent Editor on Feb 20 2008 in Social Security

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