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Event Summary

Social Security is the largest federal program, the largest tax most workers pay, and the largest source of income for most retirees. And Americans worry they will not receive all the benefits they have been promised.

Wednesday at AEI, Social Security’s chief actuary, Stephen C. Goss, discussed the recently released 2017 Social Security’s Trustees Report. He addressed the program’s sustainability and implications of the proposed reforms.

AEI’s Andrew G. Biggs and Paul N. Van de Water of the Center of Budget and Policy Priorities provided comments on the report, moderated by the R Street Institute’s Alex J. Pollock. Dr. Van de Water examined the relationship between Disability Insurance and Old-Age and Survivors Trust Funds. He argues that they have complementary distributional effects and should be addressed together. Dr. Biggs addressed what is driving the drop in disability insurance and the variety of reasons why different people need disability insurance.

—Isabelle Staff

Event Description

Social Security is the largest federal program, the largest tax most workers pay, and the largest source of income for most retirees. And Americans worry they will not receive all the benefits they have been promised.

Join AEI as Social Security’s chief actuary, Stephen C. Goss, discusses the newly released 2017 Social Security’s Trustees Report and what the report can tell us about Social Security’s future. AEI’s Andrew G. Biggs and Paul N. Van de Water of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, both of whom have experience with the Social Security Administration, will provide comments.

Join the conversation on social media by following @AEI and @AEIecon on Twitter and Facebook.


Agenda

1:30 PM
Registration

2:00 PM
Introduction:
Andrew G. Biggs, AEI

2:05 PM
Presentation of the 2017 Social Security Trustees Report:
Stephen C. Goss, Social Security Administration

2:30 PM
Panel discussion

Participants:
Andrew G. Biggs, AEI
Stephen C. Goss, Social Security Administration
Paul N. Van de Water, Center on Budget and Policy Priorities

Moderator:
Alex J. Pollock, R Street Institute

3:15 PM
Q&A

3:30 PM
Adjournment


Event Contact Information

For more information, please contact Isabelle Staff at [email protected], 202.862.5885.


Media Contact Information

For media inquiries or to register a camera crew, please contact [email protected], 202.862.5829


Speaker Biographies

Andrew G. Biggs is a resident scholar at AEI, where he studies Social Security reform, state and local government pensions, and public-sector pay and benefits. Before joining AEI, he was the principal deputy commissioner of the Social Security Administration (SSA), where he oversaw SSA’s policy research efforts. In 2005, as an associate director of the White House National Economic Council, he worked on Social Security reform. In 2001, he joined the staff of the President’s Commission to Strengthen Social Security. He has published widely in academic publications and newspapers such as The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and The Washington Post. He has also testified before Congress on numerous occasions. In 2013, the Society of Actuaries appointed Dr. Biggs co-vice chair of a blue-ribbon panel focused on underfunding of public-sector pension plans.

Stephen C. Goss has served as chief actuary at the Social Security Administration since 2001. He joined the office of the chief actuary in 1973. He has worked in areas related to health insurance, long-term care insurance, and pension, disability, and survivor protection. He is a member of the Society of Actuaries’ Social Security Retirement and Disability Income Committee, the National Academy of Social Insurance, and the American Academy of Actuaries’ Social Insurance Committee. Mr. Goss holds a B.A. in mathematics and economics from the University of Pennsylvania and an M.A. in mathematics from the University of Virginia.

Alex J. Pollock is a distinguished senior fellow at the R Street Institute. He was previously a resident fellow at AEI. Before joining AEI, he was president and CEO of the Federal Home Loan Bank of Chicago from 1991 to 2004. Mr. Pollock focuses on financial policy issues, including financial cycles, government-sponsored enterprises, housing finance, banking, central banking, uncertainty and risk, and political responses to financial crises. He is the author of “Boom and Bust: Financial Cycles and Human Prosperity” (AEI Press, 2010), as well as numerous articles and congressional testimonies. Mr. Pollock is a director of CME Group, Great Lakes Higher Education Corporation, and the Great Books Foundation, where he was chairman of the board from 2006 to 2014, and he is a former president of the International Union for Housing Finance.

Paul N. Van de Water is a senior fellow and director of policy futures at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, where he specializes in Medicare, Social Security, and health coverage. Previously, he was vice president of health policy at the National Academy of Social Insurance. From 2001 to 2005, he served as assistant deputy commissioner for policy at the Social Security Administration, where he managed the agency’s policy analysis, research, and statistical activities. He also served as the associate commissioner for research, evaluation, and statistics from 1999 to 2001. He worked for more than 18 years at the Congressional Budget Office (CBO). He served as the assistant director for budget analysis at the CBO from 1994 to 1999, where he supervised the agency’s budget projections, analyses of the president’s budget, cost estimates of legislative proposals, and estimates of the cost of federal mandates on state and local governments. As the deputy assistant director for budget analysis from 1992 to 1994, Dr. Van de Water coordinated the CBO’s analysis of the Clinton administration’s health plan and other proposals to reform the financing and delivery of health care.

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