Warnings of looming pension bankruptcy aren’t just overblown. They’re politically dangerous.
…. This report covers how the Social Security program is financed and how the Social Security trust funds work. It will be updated annually to reflect current projections of the financial status of the Social Security trust funds…..
Social Security: What Would Happen If the Trust Funds Ran Out?
William R. Morton, Wayne Liou, Congressional Research Service, CRS Report, RL33514, September 12, 2017
From the abstract:
In 2016, Social Security income from payroll contributions, tax revenues, and interest on reserves exceeded outgo by $35 billion, leaving a surplus. Reserves, now at $2.8 trillion, are projected to grow to $3.0 trillion by the end of 2021. If Congress takes no action before then, reserves would be drawn down to pay benefits. The Disability Insurance (DI) Trust Fund is projected to cover scheduled benefits until 2028, and the Old-Age and Survivors (OASI) Trust Fund until 2035. On a combined OASDI basis, Social Security is fully funded until 2034, but faces a projected shortfall thereafter. After the projected depletion of the combined OASDI trust funds, Social Security contributions and tax revenues would continue to be received and would cover about 77 percent of scheduled benefits (and administrative costs, which are less than 1 percent of outgo). The long-range actuarial shortfall over 75 years is projected to be 2.83 percent of taxable payroll – that is, 2.83 percent of all earnings that are subject to Social Security contributions. This projected long-term revenue shortfall increased from 2.66 percent of taxable payroll, which was reported in the 2016 Trustees Report. Timely revenue increases and/or benefit reductions could bring the program into long-term balance, preventing the projected shortfall.
Source: Office of Management and Budget, May 2017
Greenstein: Trump Budget Proposes Path to a New Gilded Age
Source: Robert Greenstein, Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, CBPP Statement, May 22, 2017
President Trump’s new budget should lay to rest any belief that he’s looking out for the millions of people the economy has left behind.
President Trump’s Budget Includes a $2 Trillion Math Mistake
Source: Ryan Teague Beckwith, Time, May 23, 2017
President Trump’s budget includes simple accounting error that adds up to a $2 trillion oversight.
Trump releases budget hitting his own voters hardest
Source: Andrew Restuccia , Matthew Nussbaum and Sarah Ferris, Politico, Updated: May 23, 2017
The president’s proposal for next year’s federal spending calls for more than $1 trillion in cuts to social programs, including farm aid.
What Trump’s budget cuts from the social safety net
Source: Denise Lu and Kim Soffen, Washington Post, Updated May 23, 2017
On Tuesday, President Trump released his 2018 budget proposal. It makes deep cuts across many anti-poverty programs, slashing food stamps by more than a quarter and children’s health insurance by 19 percent.
Trump budget slashes money for federal lands, needy and health care
Source: Thomas Burr, The Salt Lake Tribune, May 23 2017
President Donald Trump’s proposed 2018 fiscal budget would hit Utah’s needy and disabled, cut block grants to communities, slash funding for public lands and public transit projects and could hurt rural airport services.
How the Trump Budget Undermines Economic Security for Working Families
Source: Rebecca Vallas, Harry Stein, Eliza Schultz, Neil Campbell, Kate Bahn, Regina Willensky, Kevin DeGood, Antoinette Flores, Ethan Gurwitz, Alexandra Thornton, and Angela Hanks, Center for American Progress, May 23, 2017
With an administration chock full of self-serving millionaires and billionaires, it comes as little surprise that President Donald Trump’s proposed budget would be an enormous windfall for the wealthiest Americans. But the degree to which it privileges the 1 percent at the expense of nearly everyone else—breaking Trump’s campaign promises to restore prosperity to everyday Americans—is staggering. Notably, by calling for cuts to Social Security, the budget violates one of Trump’s most significant promises.
Indeed, his proposed repeal of the estate tax alone—a tax that only affects the wealthiest 0.2 percent of estates—would cost the same as feeding more than 6 million seniors for a year through Meals on Wheels, a program facing deep cuts under the Trump budget.
And that is just one of several massive giveaways to the wealthy that President Trump calls for in this budget proposal while slashing critical investments in education, infrastructure, jobs, and more that make it possible for workers and families to get ahead. Here are seven ways that President Trump’s budget proposal threatens to do them serious damage.
Trump’s Budget Would Hit These States the Hardest
Source: Sam Petulla, NBC News, May 23, 2017
The Trump administration unveiled a budget for 2018 on Tuesday that seeks to overhaul many of the country’s safety-net programs for low-income and struggling Americans. Though these cuts are popular among Republican lawmakers, they affect programs that are actually more commonly used in Republican-leaning states than in Democratic ones, and that in many cases benefit white voters without college degrees — a demographic group that strongly supported President Donald Trump in the 2016 election.
The programs experiencing the deepest cuts provide assistance for health care services to children, the poor and disabled, and that supplement food and housing for those with low incomes. Most of the programs were created decades ago by Democratic presidents.
The president’s full budget includes reductions in income-support programs that core Republican voters rely on—more so than other groups do.
From the abstract:
Our nation’s social insurance infrastructure forms the foundation of economic and health security for American workers and their families. Like all infrastructure, it must be periodically strengthened and modernized if it is to continue to meet the needs of a changing economy and society. This Report presents the new Administration and Congress with a range of evidence-based policy options, developed by the nation’s top social insurance experts, for doing so.
The first part of the Report takes stock of the policy challenges facing existing social insurance programs: Social Security, the major health insurance programs, and Unemployment Insurance. The second part discusses potential new directions for social insurance in coping with emerging needs in the areas of long-term services and supports, caregiving supports, and nonstandard work.
From the abstract:
The share of women working today is near an all-time high. While their earnings and projected retirement incomes have grown compared to previous generations of women, a significant gender gap still exists. At the same time, women continue to bear most of the responsibility of caregiving, and many have to juggle the demands of work and taking care of a child or adult loved one. To compound this struggle, more women are handling these duties on their own, as more are either never married or divorced. These challenges put a strain on women’s ability to work and earn a decent living, making it difficult to achieve economic security in old age.
Social Security has proven to be the most effective vehicle for the achievement of retirement security for most women. Enhancing Social Security benefits would be an effective strategy for improving women’s retirement security—especially for women 75 or older, who face a significantly greater risk of poverty than their male counterparts. Expanding benefits would require increasing system revenue beyond what is necessary to close the projected long-term shortfall. Provisions that increase benefits for low earners, caregivers, or older seniors, or modernize benefits for certain marital statuses such as the divorced and survivors, would address the challenges that women particularly face. But they would be available on a gender-neutral basis and would benefit other economically vulnerable groups, including people of color and people with disabilities.
From the abstract:
Racial and ethnic gaps in wealth are substantial and persistent. The wealth of a the typical white household in 2013 was 13 times that of the typical black household and 10 times that of the typical Hispanic household. Social Security is a crucial component of most Americans’ financial security in retirement and makes up the vast majority of retirement wealth for most households of color. The gap in Social Security wealth between white households and households of color is substantially less than the gap in holdings of pension and IRA wealth. As a result, Social Security has a unique advantage to reduce the gap in retirement wealth for households of color. It provides universal coverage, requires mandatory contributions, and provides greater assets to those who need them most. A range of Social Security reform options are available to further reduce the gap in retirement wealth.
From the summary:
Deciding when to take Social Security benefits is one of the most important financial decisions your parents will make. This infographic outlines thre things they should keep in mind to make smart claiming decisions. Depending on your parent’s financial situation, it may pay to wait, but definitely pays to talk.
The infographic is part of a toolkit of resources designed to educate workers approaching retirement, and their families and friends, about their options for taking Social Security benefits, and about why it can pay to wait.
The full retirement age (FRA) is the age at which workers can claim full Social Security retired worker benefits. The size of the monthly benefits is affected by when the worker claims benefits. The worker’s age when claiming benefits is compared with the FRA, and adjustments are made depending on the number of months before or after the FRA the worker claims benefits. Adjustments for claiming before or after the FRA are intended to result in similar total lifetime benefits, regardless of when the worker claims benefits: retiring before the FRA results in a reduction in monthly benefits (to take into account the longer expected period of benefit receipt) and retiring after the FRA results in an increase in monthly benefits (to take into account the shorter expected period of benefit receipt. The FRA was 65 at the inception of Social Security, but has been gradually increased upwards, to 67 for those born in 1960 or later. Claiming benefits past age 70 does not increase the monthly benefits.
The earliest age retired worker beneficiaries may begin receiving benefits is called the early eligibility age (EEA). The current EEA is 62 for retired workers and their spouses; retirement benefits cannot be claimed by workers or spouses prior to 62. Although workers cannot receive retirement benefits prior to the EEA, dependents could be eligible for benefits earlier than age 62 under certain circumstances. In 2015, approximately 40% of new retired worker beneficiaries claimed benefits at age 62. More than half of beneficiaries who claimed retired worker benefits in 2015 claimed before the FRA.