Social Security is, and has always been, an important program. Today, the Social Security program provides benefits to retired and disabled workers and to the survivors of deceased workers. We must ensure that this program continues to provide benefits to the working Americans that deserve what they have earned.
As you know, the major source of funding for Social Security is the payroll tax paid by today's workers, including federal employees and members of Congress. In 1950, almost a decade after the Social Security program was created, 16 workers paid into Social Security to support one beneficiary. Today, there are about three workers for every retiree, and when workers entering the work force today retire, there will be only two.
In 2001, a bipartisan presidential commission made three recommendations to improve the Social Security program. All three proposals included some form of voluntary personal retirement accounts that would allow younger generations to build their own retirement savings outside of Social Security, while at the same time protecting and preserving benefits for today's seniors and those near retirement.
As Congress begins the debate on how to address Social Security's pending financial problem, please know that I will not support any proposal that does not give a 100 percent guarantee that all current and future beneficiaries will receive their benefits. I will also support a proposal that makes the current system solvent and allows younger workers to voluntarily build their own nest egg for their retirement security, which they would own and be able to pass on to their children and grandchildren.