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8 ‘Must-Know’ Facts About the Social Security Trustees Report

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The Social Security and Medicare boards of trustees issued a stark warning on Friday, releasing a landmark report showing the primary trust fund used to pay retirement benefits is set to become depleted in 2033.

At that time, payroll tax revenue is expected to fund 77% of scheduled Social Security benefits, according to the latest trustees report. As such, Americans relying on the program for retirement security face substantial benefit cuts in just a decade’s time should Congress fail to act.

In response to the new report, which saw the retirement trust fund depletion date move forward by one year relative to the 2022 report, the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget convened a diverse group of policy experts to help the public digest the updated solvency figures and understand what changes could be made to restore the program.

The call featured Marc Goldwein, senior vice president, Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget; Joe Albanese, policy analyst at the Paragon Health Institute; Andrew Biggs, senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute; Richard Frank, director at the USC-Brookings Schaeffer Initiative for Health Policy; and Kathleen Romig, director of Social Security and disability policy at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.

While the quintet shared differing views on what policy changes they would prefer, they all agreed that Social Security plays a critical role in the lives of nearly 70 million beneficiaries and 180 million covered workers.

The experts also all urged Congress to act sooner rather than later to update the program, as this would give people more time to plan for changes in taxes or benefits while also reducing the size of the necessary investment.

See the slideshow for eight highlights from the discussion, during which the experts spotlighted key takeaways from the 2023 trustees report.