Social Security

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Social Security an economic security program that was created by the U.S. government. The Social Security Act was signed into law by President Franklin D. Roosevelt on Aug. 14, 1935.[1] In addition to several provisions for general welfare, the Act created a social insurance program designed to pay retired workers age 65 or older a continuing income after retirement.[2]

The age at which a worker receives full Social Security old age benefits is referred to as the "full retirement age." A person's full retirement age can be between 65 and 67 years old, depending upon their year of birth. For those born after 1959, full retirement age is 67. Workers have the option to start receiving Social Security benefits at the age of 62, but the benefits are reduced. Workers also have the option to start receiving benefits later than their full retirement age, and the benefits are increased.[3]

In 2009, concern grew that the recession had drained the Social Security system and Medicare of funds. It was speculated that the Social Security trust fund could be exhausted in 2037. In 2008, spending on Social Security and Medicare totaled more than $1 trillion, accounting for more than one-third of the federal budget.[4]



  1. Franklin D. Roosevelt.
  2. Traditional Sources of Economic Security.
  3. Social Security. Social Security.
  4. Recession Drains Social Security and Medicare. The New York Times.