It looks like the Social Security Trust Funds may be depleted by 2037. The system can most likely continue while paying reduced benefits that come directly from the current social security taxes to the workforce.
Estimates are that the Social Security Administration could pay about 70% of its obligations at that point. There is enough money to pay Social Security benefits at the current rate until about 2037.
In 2010, the system operated at a negative cash flow, paying out more benefits than were taken in through social security taxes, due to the increased number of layoffs that caused people to file for their benefits earlier than expected.
There were slight surpluses in 2014 and 2015. The current Social Security Trust Funds report their balance at about $2.8 Trillion, which is the accumulated surplus from all previous years.
An increased number of Baby Boomers entering retirement means that these reserves will begin to deplete at an increasing rate going forward. The trust funds are obligated to invest solely in Treasury Bonds, which is considered a risk-free investment, and also gives the government the ability to use the monies which purchased the bonds.
Alan Greenspan once came up with a plan to save the social security program when it was in trouble about 30 years ago. We can only hope that he or someone else can be effective this time.
In 2016, there are also official projections that the Medicare Part A HI Trust Fund will be depleted by 2028.
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