Defined Benefit vs Defined Contribution

Journal Entry #4:  Students will analyze distinctions between institutional and residual supports, public provision of social welfare, and private provision of social welfare. Using outside sources, students will develop an argument advocating either a defined benefit OAI program (the status quo) or a defined contribution OAI program (the alternative). Students will reflect on strengths and weaknesses of both approaches, as well as contemporary trends (e.g., privatization) in social welfare. IN OTHER WORDS: How and why was Social Security-OAI enacted? What were the historical circumstances? What does it mean for social security to be a “defined benefit?” To what extent is social security an institutional support, wherein everybody benefits? How do they benefit? ANALYSIS: Student uses extant resources to critique focal policy, and to illustrate the costs/benefits of its alternative (a voluntary, defined contribution approach to retirement income security) IN OTHER WORDS: What are the weaknesses of Social Security-OAI? If the government were to transition to a private, “defined contribution,” 401-K style program… who would win and who would lose? In what ways would a defined contribution OAI program affect people? In what ways is the current model (defined benefit) better or worse? Why?

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