Social Security outlook improves slightly: CBO

Social Security outlook improves slightly: CBO
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The long-term projections for the Social Security system have brightened slightly since last year, according to a Congressional Budget Office (CBO) report released Friday.

"Compared with the long-term budget projections CBO made last year, the agency’s latest projections, published in March, indicate a slight improvement in the financial outlook for the Social Security system," the report said,

A common measure of the system's condition, the 75-year actuarial balance, improved from negative 1.6 percent of GDP to negative 1.5 percent of GDP, according to the report. In comparison to taxable wages, the balance improved to negative 4.5 percent from negative 4.7 percent.


The actuarial balance is the difference between what the fund has to pay out and how much it's expected to bring in over 75 years

The report said that improvements in measures of labor force participation and the share of earnings subject to Social Security payroll taxes helped the outlook, while factors such as economic productivity, interest rates and population factors held it back.

The CBO noted that its estimates are different than those of the Social Security Trustee reports, which indicate smaller deficits. That is a result of different estimates of wages subject to the payroll tax, GDP projections, demographic estimates and interest rate assumptions, the report said.