When you pay Social Security taxes, does this create a contractual obligation for the government to pay you Social Security benefits?
In 1960, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that paying Social Security taxes does not create a contractual right to receive Social Security benefits. Per the Social Security Administration, "There has been a temptation throughout the program's history for some people to suppose that their FICA payroll taxes entitle them to a benefit in a legal, contractual sense. ... Congress clearly had no such limitation in mind when crafting the law. ... Benefits which are granted at one time can be withdrawn...." As it is currently structured, Social Security is not a forced savings plan but a government social program that provides benefits to the aged and disabled mainly by taxing people who are working. However, proposals are on the table to give Social Security an element of personal ownership like many other countries.