The updated estimate is one year sooner than the board of trustees of the program’s accounts previously projected for the Old-Age and Survivors Insurance (OASI) Trust Fund, which pays out Social Security benefits to retirees.
Absent policy changes, the board estimated the account would only be able to cover about 77 percent of benefits at that point. However, the report showed that combining the account with the program’s smaller Disability Insurance (DI) Trust Fund, which isn’t projected to become insolvent for at least 75 years, could buy roughly a year of time for lawmakers to potentially find a solution.
In a statement to The Hill on Friday, the Peter G. Peterson Foundation said it’s the first time in decades that the trustees’ projected OASI depletion date has fallen within a 10-year window.
“As Congress debates the debt ceiling and this year’s budget, everything should be on the table,” Peterson Foundation CEO Michael Peterson said. “Lawmakers have a valuable opportunity to stabilize these cornerstone programs, while bolstering our nation’s fiscal and economic outlook at the same time.”
Some lawmakers also sounded alarm over the report.
“We must stop preying on the fears of our grandparents, put down the political weapons, and prioritize American seniors by working in a bipartisan way to strengthen and save Social Security and Medicare,” House Budget Committee Chairman Jodey Arrington (R-Texas) said.
Lawmakers on both sides have vowed no changes will be made to the program as part of a larger deal to prevent the nation from defaulting later this year. But there has been interest in both chambers at exploring potential measures to extend the program’s solvency, separate from ongoing discussions over the debt limit.
In their recent report, the board of trustees urged Congress to address the projected shortfalls in a “timely way in order to phase in necessary changes gradually and give workers and beneficiaries time to adjust to them.”
Read more on Friday’s report in a full write-up at TheHill.com.