Ideas. Action. Results.

Social Security and Medicare Funds One Year Closer to Depletion

Monday, April 22, 2019

Washington, D.C.– Today’s trustees’ reports find the Medicare Hospital Insurance trust fund is on track to be exhausted by 2026 and the Social Security Old-Age and Survivors Insurance trust fund by 2034, both the same as last year’s projections but with one less year to address the shortfalls.

The following is a statement from BPC Economic Policy Director, Shai Akabas:

“The main conclusion from these new trustees’ reports is familiar to anyone who has been paying attention: two of the federal government’s largest and most important programs are under severe financial strain. For many years, Social Security’s trust fund depletion was something that could be viewed as the problem of future generations, but that date now stands a mere 15 years away.

“One uplifting note from the trustees’ reports is the finding that the Social Security Disability Insurance trust fund’s finances have improved significantly. The fund was previously projected to reach depletion in 2032, a date that is now pushed back by decades to 2052. The Disability Insurance fund’s projections, however, are highly dependent upon the state of the economy, as disability applications typically ebb and flow with the strength of the job market.

“If no action is taken to reform Social Security’s primary fund prior to 2034, the trustees project a 23 percent across-the-board benefit cut would be necessary to stabilize the program’s finances.

“Why wait until drastic changes are needed to avert insolvency in these programs? The time for action is now.”

Shai Akabas is available for comment.


BPC will co-host a conference call tomorrow at 3:00 p.m. ET with Social Security’s chief actuary and the former public trustees of Social Security and Medicare, who will share their perspectives on the Social Security trustees’ findings. Register here.

WHAT: Analysis of the 2019 Social Security trustees’ reports 

WHO:

  • Charles Blahous, Former Public Trustee of the Social Security and Medicare Trust Funds
  • Stephen Goss, Chief Actuary, Social Security Administration
  • Robert Reischauer, Former Public Trustee of the Social Security and Medicare Trust Funds

WHEN: Tuesday, April 23, 3:00 p.m. ET

CALL-IN DETAILS: RSVP HERE or email Blake Johnson at [email protected]