On April 23 the U.S. Social Security Board of Trustees published a press release summarizing its newest annual report. The big news was that the Trustees now estimate, based on the depressed state of the economy, that the Trust Fund will last until 2033 rather than 2036 as projected last year. A lot of people understandably (but erroneously) suppose that this means Social Security benefit payments will stop after that date, an idea which might provoke panic among middle-aged and younger Americans were they not already convinced the system is doomed. (That, plus the fact that most people seem to avoid thinking about retirement or putting away much in the way of their own savings.)
At the risk of repeating myself, the actual problems are minor, because the Trust Fund is a reservoir meant to make up for tax shortfalls, not to pay all benefit. A combination of relatively minor changes–in fact, simply an improved economy–can deal with the supposed crisis.
Economist Jared Bernstein has a decent article about this on The Rolling Stone website that merits a look.
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