Social Security Report: Nothing Much Has Changed This Year

| Fri May 31, 2013 12:41 PM EDT

The previous post covered the latest actuarial report on Medicare finances. So how's Social Security doing this year? Answer: about the same. Last year the trustees projected that the Social Security trust fund would be exhausted in 2033. This year they project that it will be exhausted in 2033. The long-term actuarial deficit actually increased slightly, mostly due to changes in demographic assumptions, but the change was so small that it had no impact on medium-term projections.

Given the inherent uncertainty in this kind of stuff, it's wise not to dive too deeply into these numbers. The bottom line is that SSA is projecting slightly higher long-term costs than last year, but not enough to really affect anything over the next few decades.

UPDATE: This post originally said the long-term deficit increased slightly due to changes in economic assumptions. Apparently I dropped a line when I read Table II.D2. It was mostly changes in demographic assumptions that drove the higher expense rate. In particular, the 75-year window moved out a year. Sorry for the error. I've corrected the text.

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