Evaluating the Archer-Shaw Social Security Proposal

Value of Benefits Constant in a Changing Job Environment: The 1999 WorldatWork/EBRI Value of Benefits Survey

June 2000, Vol. 21, No. 6
Paperback, 12 pp.
PDF, 75 kb
Employee Benefit Research Institute, 2000

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Executive Summary

                              

Evaluating the Archer-Shaw Social Security Proposal—Social Security is emerging as one
of the biggest policy differences between the likely Democratic and Republican nominees for president this year. However, both candidates, so far, have outlined only general ideas on Social Security reform and have not advanced any specific proposals. Vice President Al Gore's position is that the normal retirement age should not be raised, and the present system should be preserved. In contrast, Texas Gov. George W. Bush has voiced support for the establishment of individual accounts, using a portion of the existing payroll taxes to fund these accounts (the so-called "carve-out" approach), and said he will use "political capital" to achieve this reform.

Value of Benefits Constant in a Changing Job Environment: The 1999 WorldatWork/EBRI Value of Benefits Survey—The Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI) conducted "value of employee benefits" surveys in 1991 and 1996 to determine the relative importance of different benefits to workers and to assess the role played by benefits in job choice and job change. Collaborating with WorldatWork, the survey was repeated in 1999. The respective surveys provide a picture of clear consistency on some benefits, while showing substantial change on others. They document that benefits are very important in the "new economy," resulting from the decade of change experienced during the 1990s, in which much has been written about a changing work force and a changing "social contract" between employers and workers.