Social Security can pay full benefits until 2035 before trust funds are depleted – one year later than expected – but time is still running out

Social Security will live to see another year before its trust funds cumulatively run out of money, and Medicare Part A’s trust fund depletion date gained another two years – but the clock is still ticking for the government to fix the insolvency issue. 

Without any changes in the next 13 years, Social Security beneficiaries can expect to see a 20% cut to their Social Security checks in 2035, according to the Social Security and Medicare Board of Trustees report released on Thursday. For Medicare Part A beneficiaries, the cut is 10% to their scheduled benefits. 

The Old-Age and Survivors Insurance trust fund, which pays out benefits to retirees and survivors, is expected to make timely scheduled payments until 2034, at which point it would be depleted and beneficiaries would get 77% of scheduled benefits funded through tax revenue, the report said – that’s one year later than the trustees report stated last year. There is no longer a projected depletion date for the disability insurance trust fund within the next 75-year period, compared to last year when the report suggested the reserves would run short by 2057. 

Although the two trust funds are legally separated entities, the trustees combine the two reserves to “illustrate the actuarial status of the Social Security program as a whole,” the report said. By that measure, Social Security could pay scheduled benefits on time until 2035 – one year later than the trustees expected last year. At that point, beneficiaries would only see 80% of their scheduled benefits. 

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