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Social Security Sends Another Urgent SOS

The Trustees recommend that lawmakers address the projected trust fund shortfalls in a timely way in order to phase in necessary changes...

Social Security reform has been a hot-button issue for years, and although it hasn’t been in the news recently, it should be. According to Social Security’s 2017 Board of Trustees report, urgent measures are needed.

“Under the Trustees’ intermediate assumptions, Social Security’s total income is projected to exceed its total cost through 2021,” but then it will experience an accelerated decline. Beginning 2022, the total cost will exceed total income.

It’s too late for hand-wringing. A window “through 2021” gives our representatives in Washington four years to make the required changes before the costs begin to deplete the meager reserves.

Although Social Security is often spoken in terms of the entirety of its obligations, the Old-Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance program (OASDI) consists of two parts: OASI (Old-Age and Survivors Insurance) and DI (Disability Insurance).

According to the report, DI is expected to run out of funds by 2028, where OASI is expected to last until 2035. Once their reserves are depleted, the income generated from payroll taxes will only meet roughly 93% and 75% of the scheduled benefits, respectively.  Combined, they will only be able to meet 77% of the scheduled benefits beginning 2036.

Someone in Washington needs to find the courage to make the necessary changes before the entire system implodes.

“The Trustees recommend that lawmakers address the projected trust fund shortfalls in a timely way in order to phase in necessary changes gradually and give workers and beneficiaries time to adjust to them.”

You can find some of the recommended solvency provisions here.

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3 Comments

  1. Great article! I was not aware of the current situation. I hope those in Washington read it and act on using some of the money they are not giving to other countries on elderly Americans.

  2. Seems like this is the one hot button issue that has been kicked down the road my entire lifetime. It’s to the extent that now I might not outlive the consequences of Congress not acting on it. This has been warned about so many times. It is the perfect example of government having a different road to drive on, and go in the wrong direction until they get to the wrong destination, only to suggest they have another great way of fixing a problem with another great omnibus bill that is named something it isn’t.

    This SOS will go unnoticed, except by the people who are to be the recipients.

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