MFS Investment Management Chairman Robert C. Pozen, architect of a strategy that President Bush would like to use as the basis for Social Security reform, is now urging lawmakers to move beyond the headline-grabbing issue of private accounts and address the real stickler behind ensuring the pension fund's long-term solvency: the inevitability of benefit constraints.

Critics have assailed Pozen's "progressive indexing" plan because although it would preserve or even enhance the benefits that lower income workers currently receive in retirement, it would trim those that higher earners are awarded. They also don't like its link to Bush's controversial private accounts, which would allow workers to divert a portion of their Social Security payroll tax into a mix of stock and bond funds.

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