August 15, 2012
FILE - This February 2005 file photo shows trays of printed social security checks, in Philadelphia, waiting to be mailed from the U.S. Treasury. People retiring today are part of the first generation of workers who have paid more in Social Security taxes during their careers than they will receive in benefits after they retire. It’s a historic shift that will only get worse for future retirees, according to an analysis by The Associated Press. Previous generations got a much better bargain, mainly because payroll taxes were very low when Social Security was enacted in the 1930s and remained so for decades. (AP Photo/Bradley C. Bower, File)
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Compared with most public pension systems in Europe, Social Security is downright frugal.