Social Security Only 16 Years From Insolvency

Apr 22, 2019 | Social Security

The Social Security and Medicare Trustees released their annual reports today, showing the Medicare Part A trust fund will be insolvent in seven years, the Social Security retirement fund in 15 years, and the theoretical combined Social Security retirement and disability trust funds in 16 years. Medicare Part B and D are also projected to continue growing faster than the economy. All these programs face large and growing shortfalls.

The following is a statement from Maya MacGuineas, president of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget:

Social Security faces a nearly $15 trillion funding shortfall and will face insolvency in only 16 years. That’s when today’s 51-year-olds reach the normal retirement age and when today’s youngest retirees turn 78. At that point, if not addressed, the law calls for a devastating 20 percent across-the-board cut for all Americans who rely on the program.

Medicare’s Hospital Insurance trust fund will run out even sooner in 2026, when today’s 58-year-olds become eligible and today’s newest beneficiaries turn 72.

That fact that we now can’t guarantee full benefits to current retirees is completely unacceptable, and it should be cause enough for every policymaker to rally around solutions to restore solvency to those programs. Certainly we should be focused on saving Social Security and Medicare before we start promising to expand these programs.

Efforts should be taken now and phased in over time to slow the growth of health costs in Medicare and restore sustainable solvency to Social Security. Enacting thoughtful reforms now can reduce overall health costs, improve retirement security, and promote economic growth while giving workers time to plan and adjust. But every day that passes, the problem gets bigger and the solutions become more difficult to implement.

Now isn’t the time for partisan bickering – we need solutions.

More information will be available later today in our full analysis of the Social Security Trustees’ Report, later this week on the Medicare Trustees’ report, and at our event “Unpacking the Social Security Trustees Report” on Friday in the Rayburn House Office Building.

###

For more information contact Patrick Newton, press secretary, at newton@crfb.org.