The brief’s key findings are:
- Many policy experts support targeted changes to Social Security benefits for vulnerable groups, such as caregivers, widows, the very old, and low earners
- Several of these changes have been endorsed by bipartisan groups, which indicates the potential for widespread support.
- Such changes, by themselves, would raise Social Security’s long-term deficit.
- But if the cost increases were offset by reducing other benefits, Social Security could be modernized in a way that is both effective and cost-neutral.
- Further briefs in this series will evaluate the policy options for specific groups in more detail, including potential offsets to cover the costs.