Compared with most public pension systems in Europe, Social Security is downright frugal.
On average, European pensions are more much generous than Social Security, providing retirees with benefits that come closer to matching the wages they earned when they were working. Americans are expected to rely more heavily on private pensions and savings when they retire.
European workers also have been able to retire earlier than American workers, though many European countries are retreating from those policies, a subject that has caused more than a little unrest.
Taxes also are higher in most European countries and some of their retirement systems are facing worse financial problems than Social Security.