Report: Social Security Benefits May Change

White House won't confirm or deny report of plan to cut retiree benefits

The White House is refusing to confirm or deny a report President Bush may recommend a plan to cut Social Security benefits.

The Washington Post says the administration has signaled to top Republicans it wants to change the way retirement benefits are calculated in a way that'll lower payments. But Press Secretary Scott McClellan insists the president hasn't made any decisions. In the general principles he's outlined, Bush has vowed not to cut benefits for those "at or near retirement." But McClellan refuses to define what that means. The Post story says the formula change would reduce payments by small amounts in the early years -- and by more than half for those retiring in 2075. Bush wants to create private retirement accounts to replace some of the benefits he says Social Security can't afford to pay.