Saturday, August 3, 2013
One of the few who had a choice
Social Security Benefit Check is the new name on retirement checks I am told. This program had its origins in the railroad industry to provide security to those in that once massive transportation system. Over the decades everyone was included although Senators and Congressman do not participate, they have their own private retirement system that is quite generous.
Clergy used to be out of the system till they began allowing them to choose to join or not when I was entering the ministry. You had to have a conscientious objection to the system mixing church and state. The church folks were expected to take care of their own paid staff. My personal take was related to the issue of the lesser tithing to the greater. A person contributes to the pastors upkeep by giving to the church and then the church asks the pastor to send a portion to the government for his final upkeep.
These days with the connection of social security to medicare it would be near impossible for someone out of the system to afford private healthcare till they pass. As it is medicade is burdened beyond hope of solvency long term.
The saddest thing about the whole system other than the fact that your money has long been spent is what would happen if you saved that money regularly throughout your career you would have amassed so much more than the percentage they decide you should live on.
I hear rumblings in our secular culture that all church and clergy tax benifits should be ended, and would not be surprised if that happens. My working career began quite young in the food industry as a bagboy.(bag person??/)and then a long employment as a lifeguard/water safety instructor. I had other stints in various sales industries, financial planning, insurance, business benifits.
I have qualified for SS and Medicare, and still kept my clergy salary seperate. I watch with interest how our system will handle us baby boomers in the coming years in a climate that seems to have forgotten to honor its commitments to those no longer working.