The brief’s key findings are:
- The 2010 Trustees Report had no surprises – Social Security still faces a modest deficit of 2 percent of payroll, which is newsworthy given the economic crisis.
- The recession has had some shorter-term effects:
- prices are still below their 2008 levels, so beneficiaries are not expected to receive a COLA for the second straight year.
- average wages have dropped, so the maximum contribution base and the exempt amount for the earnings test will stay at current levels.
- For the third straight year, the Report was not signed by any public trustees; the absence of these independent voices reflects a failure of the political process.