Trust fund gains a year; no wage base change projected

The Social Security Board of Trustees has released its annual report on the long-term financial status of the Social Security Trust Funds. The combined asset reserves of the Old-Age and Survivors Insurance and Disability Insurance (OASDI) Trust Funds are projected to become depleted in 2034, one year later than projected last year, with 79% of benefits payable at that time. The Disability Insurance (DI) Trust Fund will become depleted in 2016, unchanged from last year’s estimate, with 81% of benefits still payable. The 2016 wage base is projected to remain $118,500.

In the 2015 Annual Report to Congress, the Trustees announced:

• The combined trust fund reserves are still growing and will continue to do so through 2019. Beginning with 2020, the cost of the program is projected to exceed income.

• The projected point at which the combined trust fund reserves will become depleted, if Congress does not act before then, comes in 2034–one year later than projected last year. At that time, there will be sufficient income coming in to pay 79% of scheduled benefits.

• The projected actuarial deficit over the 75-year long-range period is 2.68% of taxable payroll–0.20 of a percentage point smaller than in last year’s report. (www.socialsecurity.gov/OACT/TR/2015; SSA News Release, July 22, 2015; The 2015 Annual Report of the Board of Trustee of the Federal Old-Age and Survivors Insurance and Federal Disability Insurance Trust Funds, July 22, 2015.)

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