The reason for not choosing either option 2 or 3 is risk. Because SSI is people's money that is effectively being managed by the government, and because unlike one's 401k funds, it must be there when folks retire, the risk profile of SSI cash cannot be such that the money may not be there when folks are entitled to begin receiving what is effectively their own money. The current investments of SSI, U.S. T-Bills is such that if that money cannot and will not be returned to SSI, there are bigger problems than whether folks, even many millions of folks, get their monthly SSI check. Also, even if folks were to accept a higher risk profile for their SSI money, and if as a result of their accepting that higher risk it occurs that they won't receive the SSI payment the program promises them, the country will still have an obligation to care for them under welfare and Medicaid. Moreover, not receiving their expected SSI payments because the money was invested in higher risk instruments that lost rather than gained value leaves the SSI beneficiaries/recipients without money they expected to have available to pay their bills. At that point it doesn't matter whether those folks have an obligation to pay for their electricity, water, food, clothing, etc., if there's simply no money to give to their creditors, the creditors have to write off the debt and move on. You can't get blood from a turnip, no matter how hard you try. That just increases costs for businesses, costs that get passed on folks who are to greater and lesser extents not depending entirely on their SSI payments. You see all the harganging and griping about paying the small pittance share of one's taxes that go to SNAP and other assistance programs today. Imagine what you'd hear were the situation compounded by having to make up for the shortfall in actual cash received by SSI recipients who agreed to accept higher risk profiles and lost rather than made out. We'd find ourselves in outright and open revolt by the masses. That won't be good for anyone, not even and least of all the revolting masses.