Martha Shedden, NARSSA President & Co-Founder
Today, 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.
The latest SSA press release states, “The combined asset reserves of the Old-Age and Survivors Insurance and Disability Insurance (OASI and DI) Trust Funds are projected to become depleted in 2034, one year earlier than projected last year, with 80 percent of benefits payable at that time.”
Here are the 2023 Annual Report’s Major Findings:
- The combined OASI and DI Trust Funds are projected to become depleted in 2034 with 80 percent of benefits payable at that time
- The OASI Fund is projected to become depleted in 2033 with 77 percent of benefits payable at that time
- The DI Fund is not projected to become depleted (during the 75-year projection period)
- The combined Funds have a total reserve of $2.830 trillion
- The combined reserve declined by $22 billion since last year
- Social Security paid $1.232 trillion of benefits in 2022
- There were 66 million beneficiaries in 2022
While these findings may seem worrisome, it is important to keep in mind that Social Security is not “bankrupt” and there are solutions and proposals to protect the solvency of the Social Security program.
Kathleen Romig, Director of Social Security and Disability Policy warns the public, “don’t be fooled.” You will see “alarmist” headlines today and in the coming weeks about Social Security, but these stories are misleading. The Social Security program isn’t going anywhere.
Romig states, “Even in the unlikely event that policymakers fail to act, Social Security can pay full benefits for at least another decade, and at least three-quarters of promised benefits after that.” Social Security is a “pay as you go” program so there will always be money being paid into the program via taxes paid by current workers to pay the current beneficiaries.
Social Security is a very important and major source of income for many, many Americans. And while the program is not going bankrupt, it definitely needs more resources and financial support. Congress must take action and make changes to establish a strong future for the Social Security program, ensuring it can continue to support all of its future beneficiaries.
Photo credit: Ali Kazal on Unsplash