Social Security’s Financial Outlook: The 2017 Update in Perspective

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Title:
Social Security’s Financial Outlook: The 2017 Update in Perspective
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Year: 
2017
Publication: 
Issue in Brief
Volume: 
17-13
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End Page: 
Publisher: 
Center for Retirement Research at Boston College
Language: 
English
URL: 
http://crr.bc.edu/briefs/social-securitys-financial-outlook-the-2017-update-in-perspective/
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No License (All right reserved)
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Abstract:

The 2017 Trustees Report repeats the drumbeat that the Social Security program faces a deficit over the next 75 years and that its Old-Age, Survivors and Disability Insurance (OASDI) trust fund is scheduled for exhaustion in the early 2030s. The size of the deficit and the timing of the exhaustion date changed very little from last year’s report. The 75-year deficit increased slightly from 2.66 percent to 2.83 percent of taxable payrolls, and the exhaustion date remained at 2034.

This brief updates the numbers for 2017 and puts the current report in perspective. It also briefly summarizes two very different approaches to restoring balance to the program over the next 75 years, offered by Representatives Sam Johnson and John Larson. In addition, it looks at the implications of early versus later action. Finally, it discusses the continuing absence of replacement rate data from the Trustees Report.

The bottom line remains the same. Social Security faces a manageable financing shortfall over the next 75 years, which should be addressed soon to share the burden more equitably across cohorts, restore confidence in the nation’s major retirement program, and give people time to adjust to needed changes.

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