The 2021 Social Security Trustees Report’s Findings

Pamela Kweller RSSA Staff


On August 31, 2021 the Social Security Board of Trustees released its annual report, sharing its findings regarding the long-term financial status of the Social Security Trust Funds.

The two trust funds are the OASI Trust Fund and the DI Trust Fund. The OASI Trust Fund stands for the Old-Age & Survivors Insurance Trust Fund. The DI Trust Fund stands for the Disability Insurance Trust Fund.

Unlike last year’s report, this year’s report took the impact of Covid into account. In a recent press release Kilolo Kijakazi, Acting Commissioner of Social Security stated, “The pandemic and its economic impact have had an effect on Social Security’s Trust Funds, and the future course of the pandemic is still uncertain. Yet, Social Security will continue to play a critical role in the lives of 65 million beneficiaries and 176 million workers and their families during 2021.”

Here are the 2021 Annual Report’s Major Findings:

  • The combined OASI and DI Trust Funds are projected to become depleted in 2034 with 78 percent of benefits payable at that time
  • The OASI Fund is projected to become depleted in 2033 with 76 percent of benefits payable at that time
  • The DI Fund is projected to become depleted in 2057 with 91 percent of benefits payable at that time
  • The combined Funds have a total reserve of $2.908 trillion.
  • The total annual cost of the program is projected to exceed total annual income beginning in 2021, resulting in reserves projected to decline in 2021
  • The total income to the combined Trust Funds totaled $1.118 trillion in 2020
  • Social Security paid $1.096 trillion of benefits in 2020
  • There were 65 million beneficiaries in 2020

While these findings may seem worrisome, there is hope. There are many solutions and proposals to protect the solvency of the Social Security program. Congress must take action and make changes to ensure a strong future for the Social Security program, a program that financially protects and supports our retirees.