WASHINGTON, DC—Overwhelmed by a dearth of funds and a glut of recipients, the Social Security Administration unveiled a new "Early-Death Incentives Plan" Monday. Under the terms of the program, senior citizens willing to sacrifice additional years of life will be eligible for larger payouts.

Social Security Administration commissioner Kenneth Apfel discusses the new Early-Death Incentives Plan.

"As the Baby Boomers approach retirement age and U.S. life-expectancy continues to rise, we are forced to distribute Social Security funds to an ever-widening pool of recipients," said Social Security Administration commissioner Kenneth S. Apfel, announcing the radical reform program. "But with Early-Death Incentives, rather than force millions of retirees to eke out a meager subsistence on a small stipend for years, we can offer them a few years of high living, followed by guaranteed, permanent relief from being a burden on the American taxpayer."

Under the Early-Death Incentives Plan, retirees can double their monthly Social Security payouts by signing an agreement to perish within five years, or quadruple their payouts by dying within three. Those eligible can also opt for a six-month Accelerated Mortality Program, which pays $4,000 a month over a half-year period, provided the person ceases living at the conclusion of the agreed-upon term.

"A senior citizen who is receiving $300 dollars a month under the current Social Security system can barely get by," Apfel said. "But with EDIP, that same senior can substantially increase his or her quality of life simply by signing on for a slightly shortened term of existence. This will make it possible for recipients to eat out several times a week, purchase a nice, large TV to keep them company in their final days, and, at the end of the designated period, take a nice relaxing trip to anywhere in the world to die."

Apfel cautioned that recipients who fail to die by midnight on the agreed-upon date will face stiff penalties.

"Not only will your checks immediately cease to be valid at your predetermined 'expiration date,'" Apfel said, "but if you are found to still be alive following a 30-day grace period, you will be subject to a minimum fine of $10,000 and/or six months in prison."

Retirees across the U.S. are praising the new plan. "Finally, I don't have to feel guilty about being a drain on the system," said Sarasota, FL, resident Helen Macalester, 78. "And not only am I helping my country out of a jam, I'm getting substantially more money. What could be better?"

"Who really enjoys those last few years, anyway?" asked 76-year-old Herman Norquist of Mesa, AZ, one of millions of seniors who have already signed up for EDIP. "Better to enjoy five terrific, high-yield years of life than 15 low-yield ones. The system works."