Security Woes Fixed By Tax Hikes?

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HIKEShoring up Social Security and ramping up private savings were the laudable goals on the agenda at a recent conference, Improving Retirement Security, put on by the Bipartisan Policy Center and the Concord Coalition. But high-income earners might not like the proposed solutions experts kept falling back on: raising taxes one way or another.

Congress needs to act soon to address the fact that the Social Security disability fund will run out of money by next year, necessitating a drastic cut in benefits. That presents an opportunity to address broader retirement security issues, said former Democratic senator Kent Conrad in opening remarks.

In addition to Social Security’s financing problems, Conrad listed a series of failings when it comes to private savings: many people don’t have access to retirement plans at work; people who do have access to workplace retirement plans aren’t saving enough; and many people haven’t dealt with the risk of longevity and possibly needing long-term care. “For many people these issues seem complex and that freezes them; that in many ways is the most dangerous thing we face,” Conrad said.

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