What Are the Projections for Social Security?


Quick Answer

As of 2015, recent projections published by Congressional Budget Office estimate that the trust fund for Social Security disability benefits will be exhausted by 2017, and the trust fund for Old-Age and Survivors Insurance will be exhausted by 2032. This projection estimates a combined fund would be exhausted by 2030.

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Full Answer

The CBO compares tax revenue to projected program outlays using its 10-year budget projections, then extends the baseline concept for the rest of the long-term projection period. In its 2014 projection, the CBO stated that during 2010, the costs of Social Security exceeded tax revenues for the program for the first time in its history.

The CBO's projection draws specific attention to the impending retirement of the baby-boomer generation, stating that program expenses will increase, while the tax base will remain largely unchanged. Social Security revenues are based largely on payroll tax revenues, with only 3 percent of revenues collected from taxes on benefits of high-income individuals.

The CBO found a 9 percent gap between Social Security outlays and revenue in 2013, and estimates that this gap will average 17 percent in the next decade before growing larger in the 2020s and exceeding 30 percent of revenues by the late 2020s.

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