Hagel has plan to fix Social Security

March 3, 2005 at 12:31 PM

WASHINGTON, March 3 (UPI) -- A spokesman for U.S. Sen. Chuck Hagel said the Nebraska Republican is set to unveil his own plan to fix the ailing Social Security system.

The plan, which Hagel plans to make public during a speech next week at the University of Nebraska at Lincoln, relies on personal accounts as the key to reform, similar to what the White House is expected to eventually propose.

The Hagel plan, the Omaha World-Herald said Thursday, would allow for some of the 12.4 percent federal payroll tax payments made by workers and employers to be invested in financial markets but did not provide further details on what limits, if any, the senator and likely 2008 Republican presidential candidate will propose.

Under the current system, federal payroll tax receipts are used to fund payments to current retirees, leading some to speculate the system could face bankruptcy as early as 2018.

Most proposals currently on the table, including the bill soon to be reintroduced in Congress by Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., and Sen. John Sununu, R-N.H., use the personal account mechanism to increase returns for workers beyond what the current system provides and to strengthen the Social Security safety net by reducing its overall indebtedness.

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