2021 Costs Exceed Income
As seen from subtracting the total cost shown in Table 2 from the total income shown in Table 1, Social Security paid out $56.3 billion more in benefits and expenses than it collected in income.
Because Social Security has trust funds, the total costs of 2021 were still met. However, the trust funds declined in 2021 by the $56.3 billion that costs exceeded income. At the end of 2020, the trust funds totaled $2,908.3 billion, and at the end of 2021, the trust funds totaled $2,852.0 billion.
As highlighted in the Academy’s issue brief An Actuarial Perspective on the 2022 Social Security Trustees Report, the 2022 Trustees Report contains key solvency facts about the system:
- Social Security costs continue to be projected to exceed the income of the program, until the trust funds are projected to become depleted during 2035.
- If changes to the program are not implemented before 2035, 80% of scheduled benefits would be payable after depletion of the trust funds in 2035, declining to 74% by 2096.
Author(s): Amy Kemp, MAAA, ASA, EA
Publication Date: October 2022
Publication Site: Advisor Magazine