The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


Social Security 'secure'

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.




Posted at 1:02 pm (U.S. Eastern) 3/9/2010

I was looking around in your archives for the name Robert Myers. He was a member of Zion Lutheran Church in Takoma Park, Md., where I have been regular organist for many years. Many times when he was still healthy, Mr. Myers would be seated early in the middle of the sanctuary, listening intently while I played the organ prelude for the service. He was always a gracious presence, sometimes commented on a piece of music which had pleased him, and only after many years did I begin to learn what a treasure we had in this lone white-haired quiet man who was always regular in his church attendance no matter what the season.  He will be missed. Mr. Myers was also nominated for a Wittenberg Award, awarded by the Luther Institute of Washington, D.C. and Gettysburg Seminary, Gettysburg, Pa. A memorial service for Robert Myers is set for next Saturday afternoon, February 20, 2010, for which I will also be the organist.

Dr. Louis Reith, Humanities/Rare Book Cataloger, Georgetown University Library, Washington, D.C., and Organist, Zion Lutheran Church, Takoma Park, Md.

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