Social Security’s Financial Outlook: The 2018 Update in Perspective


The brief’s key findings are:

  • The 2018 Trustees Report shows virtually no change:
    • Social Security’s 75-year deficit ticked up from 2.83 percent to 2.84 percent of payroll.
    • Trust fund exhaustion is still 2034, after which payroll taxes still cover about three quarters of promised benefits.
  • This shortfall is manageable, but action should be taken soon to equitably share the burden among cohorts, restore public confidence, and give people time to adjust.
  • One concern is whether the declining fertility rate is a lingering effect of the Great Recession or a permanent shift that could worsen Social Security’s finances.

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