Social Security Trends

Benefit terminations (not all these are by death)

Year-over-year percentage change in OASDI Trust Fund

Good stuff, thanks MPC.


I stumbled over this… would it be correct to replace the first “cut” with “eliminated”? Is that the distinction you’re trying to make? Because that’s an infuriating one that a lot of sources conflate.

What change was this? I thought it was the 1983 legislation that raised the retirement age :-?

Never mind, I see you corrected that piece.

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Yup, the original post was wrong about what reform occurred when. I was having trouble digging it up (hey! I was a kid back then!)

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Break out the party hats, popguns, panpoolers, pantookers, and drums!

With the 2022 Annual Reports recently released, the Social Security Trust Funds received fully-funded life extensions.

  • OAS is estimated to be able to pay full benefits until 2034 (+1 year)
  • DI is now estimated to be able to pay full benefits for 75+ years

Even Medicare Part A received an extension and is estimated to be fully-funded until 2028 (+2 years)

Is that because all the old folks died from Covid?

I recall wondering what the impact would be on SS/Medicare and Bruce thought for sure the loss of tax revenue would more than offset the reduction in benefits payable.

But maybe there was less revenue loss and/or more deaths than he anticipated at whatever point we had that discussion?

I don’t think the trustees attribute the improvement to COVID.

The projections presented include our best estimates of the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Economic recovery from the 2020 recession has been stronger and faster than assumed in last year's reports, with positive effects on the projected actuarial status of the trust funds in these reports.

The main reasons for the smaller deficit are a stronger than expected recovery from the pandemic-induced recession, higher expected levels of labor productivity, and lower future disability incidence rates that reflect recent experience.

I similarly recall Bruce’s thoughts on COVID’s impact on SS.

Here’s a related snipet from the executive summary:

At this time, there is no consensus among experts on the lasting effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. We currently assume that the pandemic will have no net effect on our long-range projections. In addition, the assumptions for this report were determined in mid-February 2022. Developments since then have added to the uncertainty regarding the path of the COVID-19 pandemic and the economy in the near-term. The Trustees will continue to monitor these and any future developments and modify the projections in later reports as appropriate.

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