NCPA's Online Calculator Shows What You're Going to Pay & What You're Going To Get From Social Security

DALLAS (Feb. 07, 2000) -- A new online calculator will allow workers to determine their personal stake in Social Security. The calculator, produced by the National Center for Policy Analysis (NCPA), shows people what they will pay in taxes, what they will receive in benefits, and what they would have received if they had invested the same dollars in a private account.

"Find out what you're going to pay and what you're going to get," said NCPA Senior Scholar Dorman Cordell. "For younger workers in particular, the NCPA's calculator is more accurate than any existing calculator, including the estimates of the Social Security Administration."

The NCPA calculator -- which can be found at the NCPA's web site, - also shows workers how high the payroll tax rate will have to reach by the time of their retirement to pay for Social Security, Medicare and all other senior health benefits promised under current law.

Some representative examples:

  • A 25-year old waitress can expect to pay more than $300,000 (in real terms) in Social Security taxes by the time she retires, but her lifetime benefits will be little more than half that amount. Her monthly Social Security benefit will be $920 in today's dollars, compared to a private pension of $2,303 if her taxes had been invested in stocks and bonds.
  • A 30-year old steelworker can expect to pay more than $800,000 in Social Security taxes, but will receive lifetime benefits of only one-third that amount. His expected monthly Social Security benefit will be $1,707 compared to $7,229 if he had invested privately.
  • A 40-year old male bus driver can expect his taxes to be twice his lifetime benefits. His Social Security check will be less than one-forth of a comparable private pension. The payroll tax rate at the time he retires will have to be above 25% to pay all promised Social Security and Medicare benefits.