In a 1998 memorandum to the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, the Cato Institute claimed that its proposals meet the National Council of Women’s
Organizations’ (NCWO) “check list” for Social Security reform and hence deserve NCWO’s support.
This fact sheet refutes this claim, drawing attention to four central problems with privatizing Social Security: increased risk, the
high costs associated with the transition from a pay-as-you-go to a pre-funded system, and the high costs of administrating
individual accounts and purchasing life and disability insurance in the private market. Table 2 responds to the Cato Institute’s
claims regarding the NCWO’s principles for Social Security reform point by point and concludes that privatizing Social
Security would hurt, not help, most women.