General, Retirement

SSA Talks: Will Social Security Be There When I Retire?

November 2, 2023 • By

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Last Updated: November 2, 2023

SSA Talks logo with microphoneOur Chief Actuary, Steve Goss, answers this question in the latest episode of our audio series, SSA Talks. In this 13-minute episode, Steve sheds light on the Social Security Trust Funds and how they relate to your future benefits.

The episode is accompanied by a fact sheet and transcript. In addition to providing more information about the Trust Funds, the fact sheet explains how Social Security protects you and your family before you retire.

Listen to the episode on our SSA Talks page and subscribe to receive alerts about future episodes. For more information and news about Social Security, check out our Communications Corner.

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About the Author

Dawn Bystry, Associate Commissioner, Office of Strategic and Digital Communications

Deputy Associate Commissioner, Office of Strategic and Digital Communications


  1. Beth M.

    During the SSA Talks, can you address the concerns many of us have about the long-term sustainability of Social Security? Specifically, what guarantees can the SSA provide that Social Security will remain solvent and able to disburse full benefits by the time current workers reach retirement age?

  2. Sierra.Dogus

    What proactive steps can younger generations take to ensure financial stability in retirement, in light of the concerns addressed in the ‘SSA Talks: Will Social Security Be There When I Retire?’ as discussed on

  3. Bob19116

    Social Security since the day it was signed into law in 1935 by FDR has always been an entitlement program. But it is unique from all other entitlement programs with its own dedicated tax, and entitlement to benefits partially correlated with the amount of SS tax that you have paid in. Either increasing the wage base to pay the tax without that person getting a higher computed benefit or, paying benefits from the general fund to make up the shortfall in the SS trust fund both would make be evidence that SS had become a welfare redistribution program. Beware of what some are suggesting as welfare programs paid from the general fund can be cut. That could be a dangerous “fix”.

    • Tony

      Social Security has a trillion dollars paid out annually. Medicare has close to another trillion dollars paid out annually. There are many businesses that rely on this money.

      AARP rely heavily on seniors contributing and spending their Social Security money and signing up for the AARP Medicare Advantage Plan. AARP have lobbyists to keep the money flowing into their pocket indefinitely.

  4. M. N.

    I’m a retired man age of 74 years and living in Ajman. United Arab Emirates more than 42 years and SSA card holder.
    My question is how obtain the retired benefits from SSA.
    M. Nisar
    United Arab Emirates.

    • Ann C.

      Hi, M. Nisar. Thanks for visiting our blog. Since you are living outside of the U.S., please contact your local  Federal Benefits Unit for any assistance related to Social Security benefits. Also, our Office of International Operations home page provides more information to assist our customers living abroad. We hope this helps.

  5. Donna B.

    Social security is not an entitlement and Congress should not be borrowing from the trust fund…that said; removing the income limit should eliminate the concern that it will run out of money. That and raising the age for full benefits to at least 70 would fund it for years to come.

    • Terry C.

      Donna you are absolutely correct! Additionally, it wouldn’t hurt to increase employer and employee contributions by 1% each over the next 4 yrs. That’s a quarter percent per year total. Nobody would notice the change except The Trust, they wound the benefit. Removing the income cap and increase the contribution. Brilliant!! Good job Donna!! I’m all in!!!

    • Sherry L.

      You are right! Why shouldn’t everyone pay a fair share instead of capping the income limit?! It’s absurd.

  6. Sheryl R.

    There is no excuse for the discussion of sunsetting social security and Medicare by those who don’t pay into those programs.

    We have paid into them our entire working lives for the security of having a little extra to help pay our bills when we retire or are disabled.

    If you are considering cutting an “entitlement” program or two why don’t you cut the lifetime salary and perks to elected officials and those appointed to the judiciary. You know, those people who get paid and perks from our tax dollars while not having to pay in because the vast majority make far in excess of $160,000.00 per year.

    • CAPT A.

      Congress DOES pay into SS and have the exact same retirement plan as every other government worker they do not ” receive their salary for the rest of their lives”. This has been the case since Republican Speaker Newt Gingrich and his contract with America! The vast majority of recipients like you and me will receive MORE money out of SS than they paid in!

    • Sherry L.

      Completely agree. And this is one reason they don’t care / they have and will have theirs.

    • Kurt G.


    • Mark H.

      I agree with both of you and there are many people that deny the hard facts. Very often, people at the lower end of the scale barely have enough to live on. As a matter of fact, my income subsidizes my wife’s income and our household combined income disqualifies us from any state help. Not that I ask for it but, just another example of how the government doesn’t like to tell the whole story. Another thing they won’t mention is how much money was “saved” due to someone dying early in life (both my parents) and leaving benefits for redistribution to others. Another thing is that people often don’t consider the matching contributions 100% by employers (both SS and medicare) and the dollar valuation year by year. In my case, starting work in 1978, by $1.00 earning would equal $9.44 per hour due to matching ($1.00 in 1978=$4.72) for SS benefits alone. “IF” we were allowed to actually invest that money we would likely be much better off. Since employers would understand contributions don’t have to be made to the government, it could put the employee in a better bargaining position when: The hire in, or ask for a raise. Washington is however, just another used car lot with well dressed smiling salesmen/women.

  7. Tom

    I don’t do videos. Whaere is the printed version?

    • Randy

      Tap the SSA Talks link on this page or is the link

    • Ann C.

      Hi, Tom. Thanks for your question. To view the transcript of this blog article, visit here. We hope this helps. 

  8. Daniel

    Congress has repeatedly borrowed money from the Social Security Trust Fund over the years, and hasn’t bothered to try and pay it back. I have paid into it every year for over 56 years, and I feel like it should be there for me now that I need it. SS is NOT an entitlement, regardless of what the republicans in Congress keep trying to push off on the American people! They do not pay into it, and don’t have to worry about collecting it when they retire, as they receive their salary for the rest of their lives, unless they are impeached! Get a grip, Congress, and don’t mess with our SS !!!!

    • MajJohn

      Your comment was very partisan. You act as if one party is the villain and the other party isn’t. Both parties have the same vested interest. The greater question is whether or not the government will be there when you retire or at any time in the future. If the government can no longer pay it’s debts, SS won’t be the only thing in default.

      • CAPT A.


        • Who s.

          Read sentence one again and study history. This fund was not setup to be an emergency fund for dipping into. It was to save for retirement of working people who paid in.

    • CAPT A.

      You are misguided from start to finish. First when the Trust Fund is empty the benefits will be paid out of general revenue nothing is going to stop SS payments short of a total government collapse. SS is an “entitlement” which means government pays this prior to annual appropriations. NO REPUBLICANS IN CONGRESS HAVE SUGGESTED CHANGES IN SS FOR CURRENT RECEPIENTS! Every member of Congress knows that eventually SS will be paid out of general revenue and will be subject to annual budgeting and at that point forward it could change annually. Congress DOES pay into SS and have the exact same retirement plan as every other government worker they do not ” receive their salary for the rest of their lives”. This has been the case since Republican Speaker Newt Gingrich and his contract with America! The vast majority of recipients like you and me will receive MORE money out of SS than they paid in! You best chance to continue to this as an entitlement is to vote Republican and return to fiscal sanity!!!!!!!!!!

    • ADRIAN


      • Bill

        I sure am!

  9. Mary C.

    This should not even be an issue for anyone who has paid into it.

    • John J.

      It’s not an issue unless you want to go down that rabbit hole.

  10. Valerie J.

    Social Security would not be in jeopardy of running out if there was NO cap on income. Everyone should pay their fair share. Especially those who make the most. There should have NEVER been a cap and people only paying through $160,000 should never have happened. They do not need to only increase the cap, they need to completely remove it. That alone would fix the problem.

    • John J.

      Solves nothing. The cap is there to also limit the amount paid out. Remove the cap and there’s no limit the the maximum monthly payout.

      • CAPT A.


    • ADRIAN

      EXACTLY !

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