Trustees for the Social Security trust fund in an annual report released Tuesday said the program is expected to pay benefits that exceed its income in 2021, the same as it anticipated last year at the outset of the pandemic.
While the pandemic had a significant impact on the program, the trustees said, they expect Social Security’s reserves to be depleted by 2034, only one year sooner than they estimated in their April 2020 report. Once the reserves are exhausted, benefits would be reduced automatically unless Congress steps in to shore up the program, which lawmakers have done previously.
The trustees now project elevated mortality rates related to the pandemic through 2023, and expect lower immigration and child-bearing this year and next, compared with their 2020 estimates. They also expect the pandemic has lowered worker productivity and thus economic output permanently.
Author(s): Kate Davidson
Publication Date: 31 August 2021
Publication Site: Wall Street Journal