Social Security’s Financial Outlook: The 2019 Update in Perspective


The brief’s key findings are:

  • Contrary to media reports, the 2019 Trustees Report shows little change overall:
    • Social Security’s 75-year deficit ticked down from 2.84 percent to 2.78 percent of payroll.
    • Trust fund exhaustion moved out by one year, to 2035, 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.
  • The Report did include one noteworthy change: a big improvement in the financial outlook for the Disability Insurance program.

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