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Social Security and the 2001 Reform of the Railroad Retirement Program

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  • Steven A. Sass
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    Abstract

    The experience of the reformed Railroad Retirement program has lessons for initiatives that would invest Social Security assets in equities: * To address the risk in equity investment, Congress would likely require an automatic adjustment mechanism to keep the program “on track.” * The adjustment mechanism should address surpluses as well as shortfalls, and cannot be expected to provide a complete solution to the problem of risk. * Such a mechanism presupposes a program in balance, or moving toward balance. The investment of Social Security assets in equities would need to be part of a package that produced a sustainable Social Security program. * The adjustment mechanism would respond to any shock, not just financial shocks. Had such a mechanism always been in place, it would have introduced adjustments to the Social Security program, without the need for Congress to act, in response to the demographic shocks that created the program’s current long-term funding shortfall.

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    File URL: http://crr.bc.edu/working-papers/social-security-and-the-2001-reform-of-the-railroad-retirement-program/
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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Center for Retirement Research in its series Working Papers, Center for Retirement Research at Boston College with number wp2013-15.

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    Length: 19 pages
    Date of creation: Jun 2013
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:crr:crrwps:wp2013-15

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