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All News > Social Security

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Social Security: What Would Happen If the Trust Funds Ran Out?
Congressional Research Service [CRS] Link to more items from this source
Sept. 28, 2022

25 pages. "The trustees project that following depletion of the combined funds in 2035, Congress could restore balance by immediately reducing scheduled benefits by about 20%; the required reduction would grow gradually to 26% by 2096.... The sooner adjustment to Social Security policy is undertaken, the less abrupt the changes would need to be, because they could be spread over a longer period and would therefore affect a larger number of workers and beneficiaries. As well, enacting adjustment to Social Security policy sooner, rather than later, would give workers and beneficiaries more time to plan and adjust their work and savings behaviors." [RL33514 updated Sep. 28, 2022]

Tags: Social Security

CRS Report on Social Security: The Windfall Elimination Provision
Congressional Research Service [CRS] Link to more items from this source
[Guidance Overview]
Sept. 20, 2022

19 pages. "The windfall elimination provision (WEP) ... reduces the Social Security benefits of certain retired or disabled workers who are also entitled to pension benefits based on earnings from jobs that were not covered by Social Security ... Recent legislation has generally proposed either to eliminate the provision for all or some affected beneficiaries, or replace the current-law provision with a new proportional formula based on past earnings from both covered and noncovered employment." [98-35 updated Sep. 19, 2022]

Tags: Retirement Plan Policy  •  Social Security

How Your Retirement Income Could Look in 2030
Motley Fool Link to more items from this source
Sept. 19, 2022

"Getting the most out of Social Security will matter more than ever. Personal savings will play a larger role. Active income can go a lot further than you might imagine."

Tags: Retirement Plan Design  •  Retirement Plan Information for Employees  •  Social Security

Quantifying and Explaining the Decline in Public-School Teacher Retirement Benefits
National Bureau of Economic Research [NBER]; purchase may be required for full document Link to more items from this source
Sept. 19, 2022

"[In] 2020 the average initial monthly retirement benefit, for teachers retiring with 30 years of service, is 11.2 percent lower than that of teachers retiring in the same plan with the provisions that were in place in 2000, implying a lower annual benefit of over $3,000. [The authors] examine why state plans that cover only teachers, along with plans in which teachers are not included in Social Security, have made smaller reductions in the generosity of their pension benefits in recent decades."

Tags: Retirement Plan Design  •  Social Security  •  State and Local Government Plans

Social Security COLA on Track to Be Highest in 40 Years
American Retirement Association [ARA] Link to more items from this source
Sept. 14, 2022

"Based on new CPI-W data through August, estimates by The Senior Citizens League show that the Social Security COLA for 2023 will be 8.7%.... There were only three other times since the start of automatic adjustments that it was higher -- 9.9% in 1979, 14.3% in 1980 and 11.2% in 1981.... The Social Security Administration is expected to announce the COLA on Oct. 13, 2022[.]"

Tags: Social Security

Social Security Reform: Taxation Options (PDF)
American Academy of Actuaries Link to more items from this source
Sept. 1, 2022

10 pages. "Both the tax rate and the limit on wages subject to taxation have been raised periodically to fund increases in the scope and amount of benefits.... This issue brief explores a wide variety of proposals for increasing system revenue that have been made over the years by members of Congress, government-appointed panels and commissions, and outside experts."

Tags: Social Security

Social Security Reform: Benefit Formula Options (PDF)
American Academy of Actuaries Link to more items from this source
Sept. 1, 2022

15 pages. "This issue brief explores a wide variety of proposals for changing the formulas for determining benefits that have been made over the years by members of Congress, government-appointed panels and commissions, and outside experts, with an eye toward how the proposed changes would affect the balance between individual equity and social adequacy."

Tags: Social Security

State and Local Government Employees Without Social Security Coverage: What Percentage Will Earn Pension Benefits That Fall Short of Social Security Equivalence?
Jean-Pierre Aubry, Siyan Liu, Alicia H. Munnell, Laura Quinby, and Glenn Springstead, via SSRN Link to more items from this source
Aug. 24, 2022

"The authors analyze 66 plans and project that a significant minority of them are likely to fall short of providing Social Security-equivalent benefits, potentially affecting 750,000 to 1 million noncovered workers annually."

Tags: Social Security  •  State and Local Government Plans

How Much Does Health Spending Eat Away at Retirement Income?
Center for Retirement Research at Boston College Link to more items from this source
Aug. 2, 2022

"Even with Medicare coverage and ignoring long term care, retirees face sizable out-of-pocket costs for premiums, copays, and uncovered services.... After subtracting these costs, the typical retiree has only 75 percent of Social Security and 88 percent of total income left."

Tags: Health Plan Costs  •  Medicare  •  Social Security

Estimate of the Financial Effects on Social Security of the 'Protecting and Preserving Social Security Act' (PDF)
Office of the Chief Actuary, U.S. Social Security Administration [SSA] Link to more items from this source
July 22, 2022

25 pages. "[The Protecting and Preserving Social Security Act (HR 8467, S 4583) includes] five provisions with direct effects on the Social Security trust funds.... [T]hese provisions would extend the ability of the OASDI program to pay scheduled benefits in full and on time for an additional 17 years. That is, the date of projected depletion of the combined OASI and DI Trust Fund reserves would be moved from 2035 under current law to 2052 assuming enactment of the proposal[.]"

Tags: Social Security

CRS Report: The Social Security Statement
Congressional Research Service [CRS] Link to more items from this source
July 18, 2022

36 pages. "Policymakers may be interested in ways to improve the Statement, thus providing individuals more sufficient and accurate information to prepare for retirement. Those improvements may involve [1] developing more accurate benefit estimates for younger workers, women, lower earners and those with zero earnings in the two years prior to receipt of the Statement; [2] providing additional information related to benefits for spouses and survivors, benefits for workers with earnings not covered by Social Security, an accrued benefit illustration ... and other retirement plan information ... [3] assessing the effectiveness of the latest version of the Statement introduced in fall 2021; and [4] exploring Statement delivery methods." [R47183 Jul. 18, 2022]

Tags: Social Security

Editor's Pick CRS Report: Social Security Primer (PDF)
Congressional Research Service [CRS] Link to more items from this source
July 6, 2022

18 pages. "This report provides an overview of Social Security financing and benefits under current law. Specifically, the report covers the origins and a brief history of the program; Social Security financing and the status of the trust funds; how Social Security benefits are computed; the types of Social Security benefits available to workers and their family members; the basic eligibility requirements for each type of benefit; the scheduled increase in the Social Security retirement age; and the federal income taxation of Social Security benefits." [R42035, updated Jul. 6, 2022]

Tags: Social Security

CRS Report: The Social Security Retirement Age (PDF)
Congressional Research Service [CRS] Link to more items from this source
July 6, 2022

28 pages. "Some lawmakers have called for increasing the Social Security retirement age in response to the system's projected financial imbalance, citing gains in life expectancy for the population overall. Other lawmakers, however, express concern that increasing the retirement age would disproportionately affect certain groups within the population, citing differences in life expectancy by socioeconomic groups. Differential gains in life expectancy are important in the context of Social Security because the actuarial adjustments for claiming benefits before or after the full retirement age are based on average life expectancy." [R44670, updated Jul. 6, 2022]

Tags: Social Security

Editor's Pick CRS Report: Social Security: The Trust Funds (PDF)
Congressional Research Service [CRS] Link to more items from this source
June 29, 2022

22 pages. "This report covers how the Social Security program is financed and how the Social Security trust funds work. The report also covers the projected financial operations of the trust funds using data from the 2022 Annual Report of the Board of Trustees. The 2022 annual report reflects the trustees' understanding of the OASDI program at the start of 2022 and presents projected program and financial information for a 75-year period (2022-2096)." [RL33028, updated Jun. 29, 2022]

Tags: Social Security

CRS in Focus: Social Security's Funding Shortfall
Congressional Research Service [CRS] Link to more items from this source
June 22, 2022

"Social Security's projected long-range funding shortfall is driven largely by demographic factors.... [P]rojections show the ratio of workers paying into the system to support each beneficiary is estimated to fall from 2.8 in 2022 to 2.3 in 2034.... Policy proposals to address Social Security's projected funding shortfall typically include a combination of revenue increases and benefit adjustments.... [P]olicymakers generally agree that taking legislative action sooner rather than later could mitigate the effects on workers and beneficiaries and allow people as much time as possible to adjust to the changes." [IF 10522, updated Jun. 22, 2022]

Tags: Social Security

An Actuarial Perspective on the 2022 Social Security Trustees Report (PDF)
American Academy of Actuaries Link to more items from this source
June 17, 2022

15 pages. "The pandemic is projected to have continuing significant effects on the OASI and DI programs in the near term ... If changes to the program are not implemented before 2035, only 80% of scheduled benefits would be payable after depletion in 2035, declining to 74% by 2096. The actuarial deficit decreased from 3.54% of taxable payroll to 3.42% of taxable payroll[.]"

Tags: Social Security

CRS In Focus: Selected Findings of the 2022 Social Security Annual Report
Congressional Research Service [CRS] Link to more items from this source
June 15, 2022

"[T]he program's finances are in a similar, albeit marginally better, position in 2022 relative to what they were in 2021 ... largely attributed to a stronger-than-expected recovery from the recession experienced in 2020. Under intermediate assumptions, the projected combined trust fund asset depletion date is 2035 (versus 2034 in last year's report), after which the percentage of benefits payable would be 80% (versus 78% in 2021)." [IF 12133 Jun. 14, 2022]

Tags: Social Security

Planning on Social Security, Part II
Ken Steiner, FSA Retired Link to more items from this source
June 10, 2022

"[If] no Congressional action is taken prior to [the trust fund depletion date (TFD)] ... benefits will be automatically reduced across the board by something like 20% in 2035. Based on the intermediate assumptions, this 20% decrease is expected to grow to 26% by 2096.... [R]eform measures that restore actuarial balance (over 75-years or longer) would require even larger than 20% combined benefit reduction/tax increases be imposed on non-retired Generation X, Y, Z and Alpha workers."

Tags: Retirement Plan Information for Employees  •  Social Security

2022 Annual Report of the Social Security Board of Trustees (PDF)
The Board of Trustees, Federal Old-Age and Survivors Insurance and Federal Disability Insurance Trust Funds Link to more items from this source
June 3, 2022

275 pages. "The reserves of the combined OASI and DI Trust Funds along with projected program income are sufficient to cover projected program cost over the next 10 years ...  However, the ratio of reserves to annual cost is projected to decline from 230 percent at the beginning of 2022 to 74 percent at the beginning of 2031.... OASDI cost is projected to exceed total income in 2022, and the dollar level of the hypothetical combined trust fund reserves declines until reserves become depleted in 2035.... Considered separately, the OASI Trust Fund reserves become depleted in 2034, and, for the first time since the 1983 Trustees Report, the DI Trust Fund reserves do not become depleted within the 75-year long-range projection period."

Tags: Social Security

Sources of Retirement Income
Retirement Learning Center, LLC Link to more items from this source
May 31, 2022

"No longer do we have the old 'three-legged stool' of retirement income, which consisted of Social Security, private pensions and personal savings. A 2021 study by the Social Security Administration revealed that the average retiree's income comes from workplace retirement plans (primarily defined contribution plans) and IRAs (36%), followed by Social Security benefits (30%) and earnings from work (25%)."

Tags: Retirement Plan Design  •  Social Security

How Tax Incentives for Retirement Savings Leave Middle-Class Families Behind (PDF)
National Institute on Retirement Security [NIRS] Link to more items from this source
May 26, 2022

28 pages. "[T]he level of income replacement from Social Security falls off far more quickly than private savings function to provide adequate retirement income for middle class workers.... The value of tax incentives for saving is much greater for those at higher income levels, who face higher marginal tax rates. These incentives are quite weak for much of the middle class.... Solutions to these inequities should focus on increasing participation in the retirement savings system and ensuring working families also receive adequate incentives to save for retirement."

Tags: Retirement Plan Design  •  Retirement Plan Policy  •  Social Security

CRS In Focus: Social Security Cost-of-Living Adjustments (COLAs) and the System's Projected Financial Shortfall
Congressional Research Service [CRS] Link to more items from this source
May 18, 2022

"This In Focus provides a brief description of the Social Security program, its projected financial shortfall, and an overview of the annual COLA. It then addresses how the COLA is financed and how the COLA affects the projected financial status of the Social Security programs." [IF12109, May 17, 2022]

Tags: Social Security

2023 Social Security COLA Estimate Dips Slightly, Still Expected to See Highest Adjustment in 41 Years
GOBankingRates Link to more items from this source
May 12, 2022

"[T]he nonpartisan Senior Citizens League updated its 2023 COLA estimate to 8.6%, somewhat lower than last month's 8.9% estimate. The update came after the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics issued its latest consumer price index report."

Tags: Social Security

The History of Your Social Security Payments
U.S. News & World Report Link to more items from this source
May 3, 2022

"Here's how Social Security benefits, taxes and the retirement age have changed over time."

Tags: Social Security

CRS In Focus: Social Security Retirement Benefit Claiming Age
Congressional Research Service [CRS] Link to more items from this source
Mar. 16, 2022

"[T]he age distribution of Social Security benefit claims has shifted to later ages in the past two decades. Several factors are likely to have contributed to the change ... including changes in the FRA, the retirement earnings test, the [delayed retirement credit], the economic environment, and the population age distribution." [IF11115, Mar. 15, 2022]

Tags: Social Security

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