Benefit Design Choices for Personal Social Security Accounts Benefits Quarterly (Quarter 2, 2002) Vol. 18, No. 2 p.44; Smalhout, James H.
The design of benefit choices in systems of funded, individual accounts as a part of Social Security reform should not be overlooked, this article says. Social Security reform depends largely on the public's perception of individualized investment accounts and whether retirees want to leave wealth to their survivors. The public may not realize that annuities are a way of ensuring one will not outlive one's resources, and many fear annuities are an unproductive risk. Policy makers should consider potential pitfalls, insurance interpretation, system features, payment types, and goals when developing reforms for Social Security.