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date: 10 December 2019

Abstract and Keywords

After discussing the social insurance approach to economic security and the principles and values underlying Social Security, this entry reviews its history—beginning with the enactment of the Social Security Act of 1935, through its incremental development to the changed in the politics of Social Security since the mid-1990s. Next, program benefits and financing are described, and then contemporary challenges identified. The pros and cons of various means of addressing projected financing and related policy concerns are reviewed. The entry concludes by highlighting the importance of understanding Social Security as a program that strengthens families and community and gives expression to widely held values.

Keywords: social security, social insurance, economic security, income maintenance, generational equity, aging policy

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