The 2021 Social Security Report
By LouAnn Schulfer, AWMA®, AIF®
The “2021 Annual Report of the Board of Trustees of the Federal Old-Age and Survivors Insurance and Federal Disability Insurance Trust Funds,” known as the annual social security report has been published. It is presented to the Speaker of the House and the President of the Senate and can be found for all to read at https://www.ssa.gov/OACT/TR/2021/tr2021.pdf.
Last year, the report stated that social security and Medicare both face long term financing shortfalls due to cost growth and rapid population aging, and that based on the board’s best estimates, the “Old-Age and Survivors Insurance (OASI) Trust Fund, which pays retirement and survivors benefits, will be able to pay scheduled benefits on a timely basis until 2034. At that time, the fund’s reserves will become depleted and continuing tax income will be sufficient to pay 76 percent of scheduled benefits.”
If you guessed that this year’s report didn’t get any better, you’re right! Current estimates move the shortfall to 2033. The good news is that with some adjustments, the program can be “fixed” for the long term. Various solvency provisions and their 75-year effects can be found at https://www.ssa.gov/OACT/solvency/provisions/retireage.html . These options include adjusting the full retirement age at which individuals can receive their full social security benefit (currently age 67 for those born 1960 and later) or adjusting the earliest eligibility age for which individuals can begin receiving retirement benefits, currently age 62, and combinations of the two. Letters from the Chief Actuary can be found at https://www.ssa.gov/OACT/solvency/index.html . The problem is here. Options are presented. Politicians need to do something.
While I understand there is a lot to be dealt with in our government, Social Security needs to be addressed. The last 9 reports have indicated coming shortfalls. 2033 is not that far away. We anxiously await to see when our elected officials address the issues as laid out in the 2021 Social Security Report.
LouAnn Schulfer is co-owner of Schulfer & Associates, LLC Wealth Management and can be reached at (715) 343-9600 or firstname.lastname@example.org. www.SchulferAndAssociates.com .