Social Security was originally introduced in 1935 in the aftermath of the Great Depression. It was intended to provide a safety net of income to retired and disabled workers and their families. Social Security is a mandatory plan, requiring most wage earners to contribute a percentage of their yearly income to support the program. In return, they, their spouses and sometimes their dependents are eligible for retirement, disability and survivorship benefits.
In addition to providing qualified plans to employees, many business owners implement nonqualified alternatives in order to supplement retirement benefits. These selective benefit plans are generally offered to key employees and owners. One popular nonqualified benefit is deferred compensation.