public or private approaches. Public programs of social security are prevalent in many countries, but they are under intense criticism. Increasingly, a privatized Social Security program is proposed as a replacement. Although a privatized plan for individual saving and investment has attractive features, some key questions about privatization await satisfactory answers. Also, while there is no denying that many social security programs are facing mounting costs, the financial problems of such programs appear to result principally from faulty plan design and wrongheaded policy decisions, especially in an era of sluggish economies and aging populations. The design and policy maladies that undermine social security should and can be corrected. With its costs controlled by better plan designs and sensible policies, a redesigned social security program will become selfsustaining and financially stable. With a stable social security program as a foundation for a basic level of retirement income, other means of income support can then be used as supplements.