Retirees Could Lose 17% of Their Social Security Benefits in 11 Years. Here’s Why

By Elena Cordelia

Published on:

Retirees Could Lose 17% of Their Social Security Benefits in 11 Years

Social Security is a crucial source of income for millions of older Americans, often determining whether they can retire comfortably. However, the program is currently facing significant financial challenges.

This guide will explain why Social Security is struggling, what could happen in the future, and what steps are being considered to address these issues.


Why Social Security is Struggling

Social Security is having financial difficulties because it doesn’t have enough money coming in to cover all the payments it needs to make.

The system is mainly funded by payroll taxes from workers and employers. This money is used to pay current beneficiaries. However, the amount collected from these taxes isn’t enough to cover all the benefits, leading to a shortfall.


Short-Term Solutions: Using Trust Funds

To cover the gap between income and payments, the Social Security Administration (SSA) has been using money from two trust funds:

  • Old-Age and Survivors Insurance (OASI) Fund
  • Disability Insurance (DI) Fund

These funds have helped avoid cutting benefits so far, but they are not a long-term solution.


Possible Future Benefit Cuts

According to the SSA Board of Trustees’ latest estimates, the OASI fund will run out by 2033. When this happens, the program will only have enough money to cover 79% of scheduled benefits. If the DI fund is also used, both funds will be depleted by 2035, covering only 83% of benefits. This could result in a 17% cut in benefits if no changes are made.

Common Misconceptions

Despite concerns, Social Security is not going bankrupt. Even if the trust funds run out, the SSA will still have income from payroll taxes to cover most of the benefits.


Potential Solutions

Congress is considering several options to address Social Security’s financial issues:

  1. Raising the Full Retirement Age: Increasing the age from 67 to 68 or higher means people would have to wait longer to receive full benefits, reducing overall expenses.
  2. Reducing Benefits for High Earners: This would decrease the amount paid to individuals with higher incomes, helping to stretch Social Security’s funds further.
  3. Taxing Higher Incomes: Currently, only income up to $168,600 is taxed for Social Security. Raising this limit to include income over $400,000 could increase funding. However, this would only solve about 61% of the program’s shortfall, so additional measures would be necessary.

Preparing for the Future

While these potential changes are being debated, it’s essential to stay informed about Social Security’s situation. Understanding what might happen can help you plan your retirement more effectively.


Maximizing Your Social Security Benefits

There are strategies to boost your Social Security income. For instance, delaying your retirement can increase your monthly benefits. Exploring these options can help you secure a more comfortable retirement.

Social Security faces significant challenges, but solutions are being considered. By staying informed and planning, you can better prepare for your retirement and make the most of your benefits.


Disclaimer- We are committed to fair and transparent journalism. Our Journalists verify all details before publishing any news. For any issues with our content, please contact us via email. 

Elena Cordelia

Elena is a seasoned tax consultant with a decade of expertise in income tax management. Graduating with top honors in Finance, she embarked on a career journey focused on simplifying tax complexities. Elena's insightful articles on provide practical guidance to taxpayers.

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