This study analyses the situation of the Brazilian population vis-à-vis the Social Security System (SSS) using data from PNAD. We chose the 1982, 1992 and 2002 PNAD data to give a series of pictures of the Brazilian population at equal intervals but under different legal instances with respect to the implementation of Social Security legislation. Special attention is given to poverty alleviation and to the impact of some alternatives among the many that may be considered in an eventual reform of the Brazilian SSS. In the simulations the alternative of postponing the eligibility age has had the greatest effect, mainly when one considers the age of 65, which would be the equivalent of eliminating length-of-service retirement. Age testing is also effective for survivor's benefit recipients. Eliminating multiple benefits, though not impressive when figures are in question, is progressive in nature and therefore an alternative to be considered.