Free Pierce County workshops will address Social Security concerns

It’s no secret that tax revenue for Social Security is outpaced by payments made to beneficiaries. In less than 20 years, Social Security will only be able to pay out about 75 percent of promised benefits. What can be done to keep the program healthy for current and future recipients?

“Updating Social Security” is a free informational presentation sponsored by the Pierce County Aging & Disability Resource Center. A review of the 12 most common proposals suggested to help Social Security maintain its commitments for the long term will be presented, along with pros and cons to the suggestions. No solutions will be advanced, only the most often suggested proposals.


Six special presentations of “Updating Social Security” are scheduled in February:


Monday, Feb. 6 – 12:10 to 12:50 p.m., Pierce County Annex, 2401 S. 35th St., Tacoma

Monday, Feb. 6 – 6:30 to 7:30 p.m., Gig Harbor Library, 4424 Pt. Fosdick Dr. NW, Gig Harbor

Tuesday, Feb. 7 – 12:10 to 12:50 p.m., County-City Building, 930 Tacoma Ave. S., 7th Floor Conference Room, Tacoma

Tuesday, Feb. 7 – 6:30 to 7:30 p.m., Sumner Library, 1116 Fryar Ave., Sumner

Thursday, Feb.  9 – 6:30 to 7:30 p.m., University Place Library, 3609 Market Place W., University Place

Saturday, Feb. 11 – 10 to 11 a.m., Sound View Building, 3602 Pacific Ave. S., Tacoma


“When Social Security began in 1935 the life expectancy was 61 years,” said Aaron Van Valkenburg, Pierce County Aging & Disability Resources manager. “With the increase in life expectancy since then and a radical demographic shift, the system finds itself facing long term difficult challenges.  We want to help people understand the options that are being discussed.”

Today a 60 year old can expect to live until 84. A woman can expect to live, on average, until age 86. That represents 25 addition years of living that Social Security was not expected to provide.

Additionally, about one out of every four 65-year-olds today will live past age 90, and one out of 10 will live past age 95. The Social Security Board of Trustees projects program cost to rise by 2035 at which point that taxes will be enough to pay for only about 75 percent of scheduled benefits. The projected shortfall is basically stable after 2035.  The 2017 tax rate for Social Security is set by statute at 6.2 percent for employees and employers, each. The self-employment income in 2017 is 12.4 percent. Earnings over $127,200 are not taxed.

The workshops are free and open to the public.  No RSVP is required. For more information call (253) 798-4600.

 – Pierce County