At 93, Robert Myers admits to having a concern about President George W. Bush’s proposal to reform the Social Security Administration. “They should leave the system alone, not change it,” says the man who was its chief actuary before he retired in 1983.
“It’s secure and not headed to bankruptcy. Those who say it is are wrong, wrong, wrong,” claims Myers, a member of Zion Lutheran Church, Takoma Park, Md., and a former president of the ELCA Board of Pensions.
“If changes are necessary, and I’m not sure they are, adjustments can be made by raising the retirement age a little, raising the earnings contribution cap a bit above $90,000, raising the tax rate a little. A little here, a little, there—that’s enough. The system is flexible. It can go on and on and on.”
In 1934 Myers was a junior actuary for the committee of economic security, the group appointed by President Franklin D. Roosevelt to develop the system that would become Social Security. It was his first job out of the University of Iowa, Iowa City.
“It was thrilling,” he recalls.
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