Disability, General Questions, Retirement, Survivors

Trust Fund Reserve Gains One Year for Projected Depletion Date

July 23, 2015 • By

A person delivers a packet of papers to a second person.By now, you’ve probably heard that this year marks the 80th anniversary of the signing of the Social Security Act.  In case you didn’t know, this year is also the 75th anniversary of the payment of the first monthly benefits.

And, today, the Social Security Board of Trustees released the 75th annual report to Congress on the financial status of the Social Security trust funds.

As a quick refresher: The Social Security trust funds include the Old Age and Survivors Insurance (OASI) fund and the Disability Insurance (DI) fund. Benefits to retired workers and their families, and to families of deceased workers, are paid from the OASI trust fund. Benefits to disabled workers and their families are paid from the DI trust fund.

The report shows that, combined, the funds now have an additional year – from 2033 to 2034 – before their reserves are depleted. The Old Age and Survivors fund alone also gets an extra year from 2034 to 2035.

Some factors that led to this improvement include (1) faster growth in average wages in the future, because of slower growth in employees’ private health insurance cost – due at least in part to provisions of the Affordable Care Act, and (2) improvements in how we project the earnings of American workers by age.

The DI fund is still projected to deplete its reserves late in 2016. After that, the income collected through taxes will be enough to pay only 81 percent of the scheduled benefits. So, an adjustment to maintain full disability benefits is needed soon.

The president has proposed temporarily reallocating more of the total Social Security payroll tax rate to the disability fund to give Congress more time to consider comprehensive changes to the Social Security program as a whole.

The Social Security program is sustainable, but needs some adjustments. To keep the  program solvent after 2034, Congress could choose to increase payroll taxes by about one-third, reduce benefits by about one-fourth, or make some combination of these or other adjustments.

Because of the importance of Social Security to all Americans, we can be confident that Congress will make timely and well-considered adjustments, just as they have whenever needed since 1935.


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Stephen C. Goss, Chief Actuary

Stephen C. Goss, Chief Actuary

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  1. CLEVELAND E.MOORING SR

    I think all benefits like solar energy and medicare we should get for less so we could put more money back in to the worlds economy and not so other companies can make money off of us for the benefits.

    Reply
  2. Joe

    I agree, cap on social security tax should be rescinded. Next, Social Security must be moved from General Accounting to restricted Trust fund ( originally designed ). Which means no Congressional action will ever be taken to impact Social Security account. Third, Social Security fund will be restricted to taxpayers who have paid into the fund. Those who never paid will need to apply for assistance through other social services programs. Those programs are still taxpayer funded and fall under separate appropriated funded allocation.

    Reply
  3. George Swindell

    Raising minimum wage should help DI fund. Cap should be eliminated and make SS non taxable or at least lower taxable portion to 50% vs current 85%. Indexing minimum wage to poverty level should create some offset reductions in other areas.

    Reply
  4. Gumby

    Nobody is in favor for cutting Social Security , but if we are more generous, we will end up getting more applicants seeking to take advantage of that. it is always a Catch-22 the whole way. Every good intention we make usually end up making things worse. It is just that we are not communicating with people enough about Social Security and that Social Security is not a bottomless well .. it is entirely up to people to make choices and decisions for themselves about how to treat Social Security with respect without needless abuses and stuff. People is not perfect , but we have to start owning up to the fact that we will end up screwing ourselves at our own faults. We can tax the billionaires , yet we will still want more and more. So it is a matter of placing undue demand on Social Security. it is never a question of entitlement, but a question of judgement on everyone’s own behalf himself. We have to be more honest with ourselves ..No one is going to deny you of your rightful entitlement , but the money is no guarantee. It is up to you to learn how to share selflessly. I cannot tell you how to live your life or anybody can , either. it is up to you individually to make own determination about your own life.

    Reply
  5. lou shepherd

    i had to use up my savings to pay health insurance premiums costing over $500 per month, plus using the money for doctor visits , prescriptions, surgeries. also, for a while both myself and my spouse were unemployed during the recession (might as well call it the depression) and i am spent out. i will be getting ssdi in september so a good size chunk will go into paying for health insurance til i can get on medicare. better not cut my benefits. i worked hard to pay into this system and i want every dollar i can get. …we definitely should not have to pay taxes on disability benefits nor on regular benefits. we need to get out of iraq and afghanistan completely, which i believe we were promised would happen? and use that military money to shore up social security. if you want to see nationwide uprising, just try cutting those benefits or removing them.

    Reply
  6. Dennis

    I have learned through the grapevine that, around the US, people know which doctors to go to see in order to obtain DI for their bad backs and anxieties. Let’s start auditing orginating doctors and encouraging folks to get off of DI, and/or helping them to find some employment that is compatible with their issues. Let’s also consider doing away with OASI, I would rather have my SS taxes in my pocket so I can save and invest them myself than having government take my money, spend it, and return me next to nothing when I retire.

    Reply
  7. Margie

    I would like for the cap for married people to be raised its hard to live month to month on a little over $1000 and rent is half of that try to live a normal life is hard 81 in foodstamps I see why people just give up on living in this world they make it hard to live the life you want to live
    I didn’t ask to come here in the first place it wasn’t my fault that I was beat and raped as child are that I had polio didn’t walk until age 4 and 44 years later after both of parents passed away I have no records to show proof of it this is not fair to me

    Reply
    • Margie

      Maybe one day I will get what is due to me

      Reply
  8. Mark

    A portion of the individuals collecting disability insurance are not truly disabled. Find out who they are, and quit paying them benefits.

    Reply
  9. James

    Tell me please how and why a convicted Nazi war criminal involved in the holocaust can be deported rather than jailed and still receive monthly Social Security benefits. Some of the things that are hushed up and fly under the radar go beyond what is moral. Social Security was never meant to be used in some of the ways that it is being used today. I have tried to word this in such a way as to comply with the site comment policy. My true concern is how do allow such blatant abuse of our systems just for the sake of some perceived need to fund people who deceived us to receive the benefits that we as honest citizens worked to put in place?

    Reply
  10. Jess

    I as an immigrant to us work hard and contributed to ssa fund for so many years’ and now retired.Obviously the cola being added annually is not true. Based on workers income indexed yearly.Politicians make good salaries and Max pensions when retired.Is this Fair to the citizens or to God?
    Big No.

    Reply

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