The brief’s key findings are:
- The 2018 Trustees Report shows virtually no change:
- Social Security’s 75-year deficit ticked up from 2.83 percent to 2.84 percent of payroll.
- Trust fund exhaustion is still 2034, after which payroll taxes still cover about three quarters of promised benefits.
- This shortfall is manageable, but action should be taken soon to equitably share the burden among cohorts, restore public confidence, and give people time to adjust.
- One concern is whether the declining fertility rate is a lingering effect of the Great Recession or a permanent shift that could worsen Social Security’s finances.