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USA TODAY

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Sep 19, 2020
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Sweeping benefit cuts may be necessary well before 2035.

Last month, America's top social program, Social Security, celebrated its 85th anniversary since being signed into law. Today, it's a program responsible for providing monthly benefits to more than 64 million people, over 7 in 10 of whom are retired workers. Of these retirees, 15.3 million are single-handedly pulled above the federal poverty line as a result of their Social Security income.

In other words, Social Security is sort of a big deal when it comes to the financial well-being of our nation's retired workforce.

Unfortunately, Social Security is also running on fumes.

Our nation's top social program is facing a nearly $17 trillion funding shortfall
For each of the past 35 years, the Social Security Board of Trustees' analysis examining the long-term outlook (75-year) for the program has estimated that revenue collection would be insufficient to cover outlays. As of the 2020 report, Social Security is staring down a funding obligation shortfall of a whopping $16.8 trillion, and its $2.9 trillion in asset reserves (i.e., its net cash surpluses built up since inception) are expected to be exhausted by 2035.

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