Will someone please explain to me how this is an effective system? The average salary in the country is around $44,000 a year; at a 12.4% tax rate, that's about $5,000 a year that goes into the program. Assuming that rate of contribution for 40 years, how is it possible that someone could think that the average recipient getting less than $1,000 a month is an acceptable return?
In answer: you think that's a problem? Wait till you notice that it goes away if you earn any other money, in taxes. So you've saved for it, and you don't get it at all. The most pathetic return ever offered.