Keeping Track of Social Security Reform Proposals: A Summary

Health Insurance Continues To Be Most Valued Benefit, According to a Recent EBRI/Gallup Survey

November 1996, Vol. 17, No. 11
Paperback, 20 pp.
PDF, 364 kb
Employee Benefit Research Institute, 1996

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Executive Summary

                                                                                          

Keeping Track of Social Security Reform Proposals: A Summary—Among policymakers across the political spectrum, there seem to be two main points of consensus about Social Security. The first is the necessity for reform. The second is that reform ought to involve private market investment of retirement taxes and/or of national defined contribution-style savings in order to give taxpayers a better return on their money than the current system affords and thereby reduce national retirement program costs. Here agreement stops and debate about specific reform packages begins. As a result of the multitude and complexity of the reform plans, it is difficult to stay abreast of the debate. To provide a broad summary of these reforms, a table is presented that shows a point-by-point comparison of seven major Social Security reform packages. Keep in mind that some of the complexities and caveats of these reforms have been pared down in order to create a summary and that these plans may continue to evolve as the debate progresses.

Health Insurance Continues To Be Most Valued Benefit, According to a Recent EBRI/Gallup Survey—A 1996 survey conducted by the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI) and the Gallup Organization, Inc., to determine public attitudes regarding the value of employee benefits found that individuals most value health care benefits, followed by retirement plans. Individuals were asked to rank eight different types of benefits in order of importance. Health care was the most important benefit among 64 percent of those interviewed and the second most important benefit among 17 percent. A retirement plan was the most important benefit for 18 percent and the second most important benefit for 33 percent. While the response options have changed from the previous surveys, health benefits have consistently remained the most important benefit, with pension/retirement plans the next most important.