Advisory Council on Social Security
As required by law, this Advisory Council was appointed by the Secretary
of Health, Education, and Welfare in 1963. It is the second Advisory
Council appointed under the Social Security Amendments of 1956. The
first was appointed in 1957 and made its report on January 1, 1959.
Under the law other advisory councils are to be appointed in 1966
and every fifth year thereafter.
Like the preceding Council and the councils to be appointed in the
future, the present Council is required to review the status of the
Federal Old-Age and Survivors Insurance Trust Fund and of the Federal
Disability Insurance Trust Fund in relation to the long-term commitments
of the social security program and to make a report of its findings
and recommendations, including recommendations for changes in the
social security tax rates. In addition, however, the law gives the
present Council a special mandate; it provides that the Council "shall,
in addition to the other findings and recommendations it is required
to make, include in its report its findings and recommendations with
respect to extensions of the coverage of the old-age, survivors, and
disability insurance program, the adequacy of benefits under the program,
and all other aspects of the program."
This Council, although only the second in the series established by
the 1956 amendments, is the sixth major advisory group to consider
social security in a long tradition of seeking advice and guidance
from expert opinion and from those affected by the program. The first
of these advisory groups played an important role in shaping the recommendations
of the Executive Branch that led to the creation of the social security
program in 1935. Additional groups appointed in 1938 and 1948 made
broad studies of social security, and their recommendations played
an important part in shaping the present program. A group appointed
in 1953 dealt with extensions of coverage, and the one appointed in
1957 dealt only with financing.
The Council has studied the social security program for the last year
and a half. It held its first meeting on June 10 and 11, 1963, and
met frequently throughout the rest of 1963 and during 1964. Between
meetings the Council continued its analysis of the program through
a study of extensive materials. In addition, a sub-committee of three
members, with the aid of two insurance company actuaries and one from
organized labor as well as the actuarial staff of the Social Security
Administration, has conducted a technical review of the practices
followed in preparing the actuarial estimates for the program and
reported its findings to the Council.
The Commissioner of Social Security, acting ex officio as Chairman
of the Council in accordance with the provisions of law establishing
the Council, has been presiding officer at the Council's meetings,
and in other ways has helped to forward the work of the Council. As
a government officer, however, he has not taken a position on the
recommendations of this essentially nongovernmental group.
The Conncil wishes to express its appreciation of the assistance of
the staff of the Social Security Administration. The technical competence
of the staff has been invaluable to the Council in conducting its
review of the program.