Social Security reserves estimated to be depleted earlier than previously expected

The Social Security trust fund for retirement and survivors benefits is estimated to have its reserves depleted in 2033, one year earlier than previously projected, according to the trustees’ report released Tuesday.

At the time of depletion, income flowing to the trust fund would be enough to pay 76 percent of scheduled benefits, the report said.

Senior administration officials said on a call with reporters that the earlier projected depletion date was due to the coronavirus-related economic downturn, particularly a near-term decline in revenue.

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The Social Security trust fund that pays disability benefits is estimated in the report to have its reserves depleted in 2057, eight years earlier than was estimated in last year’s report. The Social Security trust funds combined are estimated to have depleted reserves in 2034, one year earlier than had been projected last year.

“The pandemic and its economic impact have had an effect on Social Security’s Trust Funds, and the future course of the pandemic is still uncertain,” Social Security Administration Acting Commissioner Kilolo Kijakazi said in a statement. “Yet, Social Security will continue to play a critical role in the lives of 65 million beneficiaries and 176 million workers and their families during 2021.”

The trust fund for Medicare Part A, which covers hospital care, is estimated to have its reserves depleted in 2026, the same year that was projected last year. At that time, continued income would be able to pay 91 percent of scheduled benefits, the trustees reported.

Treasury Secretary Janet YellenJanet Louise YellenMedicare reserves unchanged despite COVID-19 pandemic Social Security reserves estimated to be depleted earlier than previously expected Progressive Democratic lawmakers urge Biden to replace Powell as Fed chair MORE said in a statement that the administration values having strong Medicare and Social Security programs.

“The Biden-Harris Administration is committed to safeguarding these programs and ensuring they continue to deliver economic security and health care to older Americans,” she said.

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