Social Security

The Social Security retirement and disability programs, taken in combination, have dedicated resources sufficient to cover benefits until 2033, the Social Security program trustees said in their annual review released on May 31. (The 2013 Annual Report of the Board of Trustees of the Federal Old-Age and Survivors Insurance and Federal Disability Insurance Trust Funds) Taken independently, the Old Age and Survivors Insurance Trust Fund is projected to be exhausted by 2035 and the Disability Insurance Trust Fund “is expected to reach exhaustion” by 2016.

For the long-term through 2087, dedicated payroll tax for each trust fund will cover more than three quarters of scheduled retirement benefits and 80% of scheduled disability benefits, the trustees reported. However, the report contained an explicit warning. “While legislation is needed to address all of Social Security’s financial imbalances, the need has become most urgent with respect to the program’s disability insurance component,” the trustees said. The Medicare Hospital Insurance Trust Fund will have sufficient funds to cover its obligations until 2026, the Medicare trustees said. (2013 Annual Report of the Boards of Trustees of the Federal Hospital Insurance and Federal Supplementary Medical Insurance Trust Funds) This is two years later than was projected in 2012, and nine years later than was projected in the last report issued prior to passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. The Social Security report is available here. The Medicare report is available here.

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