OK, I have no idea how the numbers might work out for this but I'm going to throw it out there anyway. Because you'd probably have to go into algorisms and Algebra and calculus, Oh My!
What if we allowed people to chose their Social Security Benefit amount based on the person's contribution into the system?
So that's the simple explaination of the Idea. The rest of this is pretty much some top the head ideas on how it might work.
When you get a job you always fill out a W- something asking about your dependants and deduction. At tha point you get a paper with options. Pay this percentage from your pay check, get this Payment. I can definitly see some issues with this, I said it was top of the head stuff. I don't know how you represent to a person the value of that pay out in 40 years. It might sound good but in 40yrs, it's a Pepsi. I would imagine young people would just pick the minimum so you'd have to allow people to change. But, at the time of the change the person would need a reassesment of where they stand at the point in time, to be able to figure their contribution going forward.
Ok I'm starting to ramble, Like I said it was top of the head kind of stuff which I'm sure some people will say came straight from my ass.