Social Security Report: Nothing Much Has Changed This Year

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The previous post covered the latest actuarial report on Medicare finances. So how’s Social Security doing this year? Answer: about the same. Last year the trustees projected that the Social Security trust fund would be exhausted in 2033. This year they project that it will be exhausted in 2033. The long-term actuarial deficit actually increased slightly, mostly due to changes in demographic assumptions, but the change was so small that it had no impact on medium-term projections.

Given the inherent uncertainty in this kind of stuff, it’s wise not to dive too deeply into these numbers. The bottom line is that SSA is projecting slightly higher long-term costs than last year, but not enough to really affect anything over the next few decades.

UPDATE: This post originally said the long-term deficit increased slightly due to changes in economic assumptions. Apparently I dropped a line when I read Table II.D2. It was mostly changes in demographic assumptions that drove the higher expense rate. In particular, the 75-year window moved out a year. Sorry for the error. I’ve corrected the text.

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily crazy—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America will move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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