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Trustee Report: Social Security Trust Fund to Last Another Two Decades

The financial picture for Social Security remains essentially unchanged since last year while things have improved slightly for Medicare according to the Social Security and Medicare Boards of Trustees. The Social Security trust fund is still projected to be solvent for 20 years. From the Treasury:

When considered on a combined basis, Social Security’s retirement and disability programs have dedicated resources sufficient to cover benefits for the next 20 years.  But, as was true last year, it is projected that the combined Social Security Trust Funds will be exhausted in 2033, and incoming revenues will be insufficient to maintain payment of full benefits starting in that year.  Medicare’s Hospital Insurance (HI) Trust Fund is projected to exhaust its assets in 2026, two years later than was projected in last year’s report, and nine years later than was projected in the last report released prior to passage of the Affordable Care Act.

Social Security’s Disability Insurance (DI) program faces the most immediate financing shortfall of any of the separate trust funds.   The Trustees project trust fund depletion in 2016, the same year projected in the last Trustees Report. While legislation is needed to address all of Social Security’s financial imbalances, the need has become most immediate with respect to the program’s disability insurance component.

Even after the trust fund is exhausted, the program will still be collecting enough money to pay out roughly 80 percent of expected benefits going forward if no changes are made. According to his recent budget President Obama’s entire plan for preventing these possible future cuts to Social Security benefits is to start cutting benefits right now.

Photo by photosteve101 under Creative Commons license

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Jon Walker

Jon Walker

Jonathan Walker grew up in New Jersey. He graduated from Wesleyan University in 2006. He is an expert on politics, health care and drug policy. He is also the author of After Legalization and Cobalt Slave, and a Futurist writer at