To Decline Your Social Security

I recently received a circular about my Social Security benefits. I started to think about the purpose of Social Security: to provide a "safety net" for those who will have needs in their retirement years. My next thought was why am I bothering to read this when , fortunately, I will have no need for social security. So, instead, I asked my son, Nathan, the law student, to find out how one can decline Social Security. Fortunately, there is a very simple way. (And, it is not an irrevocable election. So, if down the road you may encounter unforeseen reversals, your Social Security payments can be reinstated.)

My hope is that those of us who are fortunate enough to not need that safety net, fill out this simple one-page form. Note that the form looks like a photocopy but it is, in fact, the Official Form that the Social Security office provides. You simply mail it or hand deliver it to your local Social Security Office.

It is my further hope that this will cause many of us (particularly CEOs whose total wealth accumulation already provides for several lifetimes’ worth of security) to seriously consider the purpose of their own corporate pension provisionsand take the same action, declining their own retirement payments (with a proviso for unforeseen reversals.)

This can send a powerful message to fellow employees and to those who are seeing people around them losing their hard-earned pensions, while some corporate leaders are at the same time protecting and even enhancing their own (unnecessary) retirement packages. This would be a message that would resonate and help restore faith in our leaders.

Please join me and other responsible leaders in taking these steps to help restore trust and respect for us as American business leaders.

Jesse Brill