The brief’s key findings are:
- The 2016 Trustees Report shows virtually no change:
- Social Security’s 75-year deficit is 2.66 percent of payroll, just a hair below the 2015 projection.
- The deficit as a percentage of GDP remains at about 1 percent.
- Trust fund exhaustion is still 2034, after which payroll taxes still cover about three quarters of promised benefits.
- The shortfall is manageable, but action should be taken soon to restore confidence in the program and give people time to adjust to needed changes.
- Also of note, the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015 did two things:
- It reallocated payroll taxes to extend the life of the DI trust fund.
- It helpfully eliminated claiming loopholes, which had a small positive effect on program finances.