- Social Security provided benefits to 53 million Americans in 2009: 68% of them retirees and their dependents, 19% disabled workers and family members, and 11% survivors of deceased workers.
- Social Security’s income from payroll taxes, interest on the Trust Fund and taxes on benefits exceeded benefit and administrative expenses by $122 billion in 2009, increasing the Trust Fund to $2.5 trillion.
- The Trust Fund is projected to continue growing until 2025. From 2025 to 2037, Social Security will draw on the Fund to finance the retirement of the baby boomers, according to the plan adopted in the early 1980s.
- Projecting into the future using “Intermediate” assumptions about productivity, economic growth, wages, fertility, longevity, and other factors, in 2037 the assets of the Trust Fund will be depleted and payroll taxes alone will cover 78% of benefits. Under a slightly different set of assumptions of the “Low Cost” scenario, the Trust Fund will never be depleted and will begin growing again by the 2050s and continue growing through the rest of the century.
- By 2037, average wages after accounting for inflation are expected to increase from $43,000 to $60,000. Average retirement benefits are projected to increase from $10,700 annually in 2010 to $15,000. In 2037 if the Trust Fund is exhausted, payroll taxes alone at the current level would cover benefits averaging $11,700 – $1,000 more after inflation than today’s typical retiree receives.
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