When the discussion turns to “fixing” Social Security the options are often cut benefits, raise the normal retirement age, etc. Many options are politically driven. However, there are many somewhat less painful options. For example:
Currently, the payroll tax applies to wages before deducting 401(k) retirement contributions but after deducting “cafeteria plan” contributions for things like health insurance premiums, flex savings plans, and daycare benefits. Equalizing the treatment of retirement and cafeteria plans so neither were deductible against the payroll tax closes 11% of the Social Security funding gap.
Applying payroll taxes to all wages will close 57% of the funding gap and this assumes additional benefits would accrue based on those earnings.
Check out the many options at the link below.
The only reason we have this discussion is because for decades Congress has not done its job.