Shifting to a system of individual accounts, with hundreds of billions of dollars invested in private capital markets, could produce a large net increase in national savings, depending on how the government financed the transition. This would increase investment, productivity, wages, and jobs. Replacing the payroll tax with private retirement contributions would also improve economic growth, because the required contributions would be lower and those contributions would be seen as part of a worker’s direct compensation, stimulating more employment and output.

More on Personal Accounts


Horse and Buggy Program in the Age of the Internet

By Michael D. Tanner. Asbury Park Press. August 6, 2015.

MyRA Will Leave America Poorer

By Mark A. Calabria. Detroit News. February 10, 2014.

GOP Needs an Entitlement Plan

By Michael D. Tanner. National Review (Online). September 28, 2011.

Cato Studies

Still a Better Deal: Private Investment vs. Social Security

By Michael D. Tanner. Policy Analysis No. 692. February 13, 2012.

Social Security, Ponzi Schemes, and the Need for Reform

By Michael D. Tanner. Policy Analysis No. 689. November 17, 2011.

The Personal Lockbox: A First Step on the Road to Social Security Reform

By Michael D. Tanner. Policy Analysis No. 550. September 13, 2005.


Social Security Reform: Does Privatization Still Make Sense?

Jagadeesh Gokhale. Harvard Journal on Legislation. Vol. 50. 2013.

The Third Rail Is Dead: Social Security and Election 2002

Cato's Letter. Sen. John Sununu and Rep. Pat Toomey. Vol. 1. No. 3. Spring 2003.

Liberating Workers: The World Pension Revolution

Cato's Letters. José Piñera. No. 15. Spring 2001.

Public Filings

Michael Tanner’s Testimony on Social Security and Personal Accounts

By Michael D. Tanner. Testimony. June 14, 2005.

Michael Tanner’s Testimony before the House Ways and Means Committee

By Michael D. Tanner. Testimony. May 12, 2005.

Michael Tanner’s Senate Testimony on Social Security Reform

By Michael D. Tanner. Testimony. January 28, 2005.

Cato Reviews & Journals

President Clinton and the Chilean Model

José Piñera. Policy Report. January/February 2016.

Reforming SSDI for the 21st Century

A. Bentley Hankins and Jeffrey D. Joy. Regulation. Summer 2015.

Cato Launches Social Security Privatization Effort

Policy Report. September/October 1995.


Still a Better Deal: Private Investment vs. Social Security

Featuring . March 14, 2012. Capitol Hill Briefing.

Social Security Reform: Where Do We Go from Here?

Featuring . November 29, 2005. City Seminar.

Social Security Reform for Deficit Hawks

Featuring William A. Niskanen, Michael D. Tanner, and Jagadeesh Gokhale. May 26, 2005. Capitol Hill Briefing.