Calls for Social Security Reform

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Following an article published in Forbes on June 26th, financial advice website called for immediate Social Security reform as thousands of married gay couples can now cash in on benefits that were not previously available to them.

We need some serious focus on the Social Security system immediately before it completely gives out from underneath us.

Today, released their observations on the Supreme Court’s decision yesterday to declare the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional by pointing out that the already-waning Social Security system is going to need to be seriously reformed in order to accommodate all the new beneficiaries.

According to Laurence Kotlikoff in a June 26th Forbes article, the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act was declared unconstitutional yesterday by the Supreme Court, rendering married gay couples in each of the 13 states that allow gay marriage the new ability to partake in the same federal benefits as married straight couples. These benefits can range from being burial insurance beneficiaries for one another for same-sex military couples to Social Security for all gay married couples. Kotlikoff reported that married folks actually get better Social Security benefits than single folks do when it comes to survivor and spousal benefits, stating that couples are required to be married for one full year in order to cash in on spousal benefits, and nine months in order to receive survivor benefits in the case of a death. believes that there needs to be some hefty changes to Social Security given the recent Supreme Court changes. is quoted as saying, "Social Security was broke before DOMA was done away with, and now we’re going to be seeing thousands more Americans cashing in on the full allowance of Social Security. I am not okay with a Social Security system that was already collapsing, and is not in any condition to support the new beneficiaries. Therefore, I think the solution is to rev up the Social Security system. Let’s face it—it was about time anyway."

In the above-mentioned Forbes article, Kotlikoff reported that table IVB6 of the 2013 Social Security Trustees Report released in April stated that Social Security is 32% underfinanced. Kotlikoff translated this deficit as saying that either taxes need to go up by 32% or that benefits need to be cut by 23%. Either scenario would have to be enacted immediately, and kept permanently. believes that this has been a problem long time coming. is quoted as saying, "It’s no surprise that our country is completely unprepared for its senior citizens to retire, as we’re something like $14 trillion below where we need to be in terms of a savings threshold. One of the big issues is of course the lack of employer pension plans anymore, but certainly another is the crumbling Social Security system. And in the wake of the Supreme Court rulings yesterday, it appears that we’re about to see a lot more married couples eligible for benefits. We need some serious focus on the Social Security system immediately before it completely gives out from underneath us."

About is an online financial column that celebrates the lives of those who have passed and offers advice on a broad range of topics to those who are living- including celebration of life and changes in society that can greatly affect our nation. Sunset Finance celebrates the lives of all people both gay and straight.

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