Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said on Tuesday the country needs to put its massive pension program on a sounder footing but rejected plans that would slash pension benefits and subject them to the whims of the stock market.

A day after the White House unveiled a budget that would reduce the deficit by $1.1 trillion over 10 years, Geithner said the Obama administration and Congress would consider ideas to strengthen social security, the pension program for the elderly and disabled.

Cutting services and programs too much, too soon would jeopardize the recovery and destroy tens of thousands of jobs, Geithner said in prepared remarks to the House Ways and Means Committee, which acts as Congress' tax-writing panel.

Geithner said the administration would reject plans that failed to protect current retirees and people with disabilities or that subject Americans' retirement savings to volatile stock markets.

(Reporting by David Lawder and Rachelle Younglai; Editing by Andrea Ricci)