What if there were a way to provide relief for student loan debt without sending the bill to taxpayers?
In this commentary, Marguerite Roza proposes a trade: for each $10,000 in debt relief, recipients agree to postpone by one year the age at which they’re eligible for federal retirement benefits. In exchange for up to $40,000 now to pay off student loans, recipients would waive Social Security and Medicare benefits for up to 4 years.
Since Social Security and Medicare benefits run an average of $30,000 per year, the delay in benefits payments would save the government much more than the $10,000 paid up front for college loan debt. Not only does this plan address the college debt issue, it could put SS/Medicare back on a financially sustainable path.
The trade should be completely optional and open to all Americans for generations to come.