In their report released on Friday, the Social Security Trustees projected that the program’s combined trust fund will remain solvent until 2034 – one year earlier than previously projected. At that time, the program still would be able to pay 80% of benefits. As of the end of 2022, the trust fund had $2.83 trillion in reserves.
“Contrary to conservative claims, Social Security is not ‘going bankrupt’; the program will always be able to pay benefits because of ongoing contributions from workers and employers. In fact, this is yet another Trustees report showing that Social Security remains strong in the face of turmoil in the rest of the economy. Its projected insolvency date has stayed roughly the same even after a global pandemic and recent economic upheavals.” – Max Richtman, NCPSSM President and CEO
Congress can strengthen the program’s finances by bringing more revenue into Social Security. We support legislation introduced by Senator Bernie Sanders to keep the trust fund solvent for the rest of this century while expanding benefits. We also support Rep. John Larson’s Social Security 2100 Act, which the congressman plans to re-introduce this Spring. Both bills would adjust the Social Security payroll wage cap so that higher-income earners begin contributing their fair share.
Republican proposals to “reform” Social Security are the wrong kind of action. The TRUST Act would put the future of Social Security in the hands of a special committee that could provide members of Congress with political cover for cutting benefits. The 2022 House Republican Study Committee budget blueprint calls for raising the retirement age to nearly 70, a huge lifetime benefit cut. Ditto for the Cassidy-King proposal taking shape in the Senate, which also would gamble future retirees’ benefits on Wall Street – a truly dangerous idea.
Many Republicans insist that they won’t cut benefits for today’s retirees — only for future beneficiaries. But Gen Z and Millennials will need their Social Security benefits even more than current retirees do, thanks to chronically flat wages, disappearing pensions, and mounting student debt, among other factors.
“President Biden and congressional Democrats see Social Security as a house that needs renovations and an addition built. Republicans want to knock down the entire house or, at the very least, weaken the foundation — if not today, then in decades to come. Today’s Trustees report is not an excuse to cut Social Security; it’s a reminder that the program needs to be strengthened and expanded without asking seniors, people with disabilities and survivors to bear the cost.” – Max Richtman