February 18, 2010

Social Security collected more than it paid - barely

More bad news for Social Security. USA Today reports that the program's surplus "nearly evaporated" in 2009, the first time this has happened in 25 years. According to federal data, the program collected only $3 billion more than it paid out last year.

The Congressional Budget Office has projected Social Security would lose money in 2010 and 2011, but fears of a deeper slump could exacerbate the loss, the paper writes. Boomers' retirements could lead to annual losses in 2016 or 2017. The program could be insolvent as early as 2037.

"Things are a little bit worse than had been expected," says Stephen Goss, chief actuary for the Social Security Administration. "Clearly, we're going to be negative for a year or two."

One of the reasons for the dip in revenue is the increase in retiring and disabled workers. The number of retired workers increased 20 percent last year, and those claiming disabled benefits increased 10 percent.

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