Social security refers to governmental programs purposed for consolidating funds paid to workers upon their retirement, disability, poverty, unemployment or facing catastrophes. The funds paid to retirees are, actually, their own funds deducted from their pay slips during the time that they were working (Beam and John 2). The income deduction intended for financing Social Security happens on a monthly basis and is compulsory to every employer and employee. Deductable amount towards contribution into Social Security depends on the members’ monthly earning. This means that the more a member earns, the more he will pay, and vice versa. The main reason for which governments endorse such program is to help retirees afford basic needs and healthcare upon their old ages. The incomes paid to retired workers are usually known as benefits.
Benefits provided by the Social Security exist in four forms that include retirement, disability, survivors and family benefits. Retirement benefits apply to retired employees or those about to retire. For instance, to start earning such benefits, an individual retiree ought to have contributed for at least ten moths and have insurance (Jimenez 8). Individual retiree must be at least 62 years, and apply not less than three months before retirement.
The disability benefit applies to disabled people who cannot engage in any employment activity. Family benefits, on the other hand, apply to the spouse of the participant, and who is over 61 years. It is also payable to younger spouses, especially in cases where there is a younger child below 16 to take care of.
As mentioned by Beam and John, survivor benefits are payed to the family of the deceased member of the Social Security program (5). This form of benefit is specifically payable to the window(er) that is at the age of 60 or older. It is also payable to disabled window(er), but who is at least 50 years. Widow(er), younger than the age limits but is caring for a child of less than 16 years, is also eligible to receive survivor’s benefits. Survivors benefits also target school going children of the deceased.
There are many pro and counter arguments that the Social Security program faces, including those considering the way it operates. The first argument in favor of the Social Security program is that it acts as better strategies of investing (Ferrara 13). The investment side of the Social Security program occurs when the participant dies. The deceased could be having little children and a younger spouse who needs significant source of finance to cope up. The money contributed to the Social Security program will define the best source of income for the otherwise desperate family. Investment aspect of Social Security program also manifests when, for instance, the participant becomes disabled through an accident or a disease at an early age. It is obvious that this individual participant will still need to meet his/her basic needs, and money contributed to the Social Security will offer the best source of income (Beam and John 13). The law that allows chance for individuals at the age of 62 of retirement to postpone their earnings and begin to receive 8% increment in annual benefits depicts Social Security as a good investment program for workers (Tomkiel 16). Moreover, the Social Security program acts as an insurance scheme that can help in paying medical bills of the individual participant.
The Social Security program also has its own side effects that impact negatively on certain parties who participate in funding the program. For example, the legal age limit of 62 for workers to retire is compulsory to everyone. This appears disadvantageous to companies considering that they require the long serving and highly experienced employees to raise their productivity. Jimenez clarifies that lose of such precious workers may decline companies’ productivity, and worse increase expenditure during recruitment and training of new and younger employees (15). It has emerged in many countries, like the USA, that the funds destined for Social Security are shrinking. This is due to the large number of retirees that exceeds that of employed population that makes contribution to this program. This disparity and inequality lead to massive budget deficit as government struggles to borrow to rectify the problem. When this happens, government begins to raise taxes and remove food tariffs as it tries to consolidate funds to pay for the deficit.
It is worth admitting that Social Security program is entirely advantageous and disadvantageous to the individual participant and general economy of the country. However, it is important for any growth oriented person to support the program and also accept to rectification of the unfavorable policies. For example, delays in the release of fund and the 40 quarters policy should apply in case of emergency health condition of the participant. The potential disparity between the employed and the retirees that leads to unburdening of working class in paying for the program needs review. Proper laws that allow retirees to earn only within their savings, if crucial, to avoid circumstances where there occurs deficit in the program to compel search for external funding.