We do not recommend any specific changes. We provide these as examples of ways to fix Social Security rather than pay for it with higher taxes and indiscriminate lower benefits.
Increase The Number Of Years To Qualify:
The formula today requires that people work 40 quarters to qualify for a lifetime of benefits. That is about 10 years. Someone could start work at 55 and qualify for a lifetime of benefits. As we live longer, it makes sense to change the number of quarters necessary to qualify.
Use More Years In The Benefit Formula:
This change would reduce the subsidy paid by long-term workers to short term workers. It would likely have an affect on people who choose to retire before full retirement age. Today, benefits are based on the highest 35 years of contributions where the contributions are indexed by average wages. This means that people who contribute for 35 years very well may collect as much as someone who contributes for 50 years. The number of years in the formula should be closer to 40.