Steve Goss, the Chief Actuary of Social Security, Says Trust Funds Will Go Dry in 2034

Mark Hake

The Chief Actuary of the Social Security Trust funds, known officially as the Old Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance (OASDI), says 2034 is the end date.

He said in his presentation on Oct. 15 that the reserves in these funds will be depleted by the end of 2034. This is based on his calculations of how many new people will be taking Social Security benefits.

After 2034, payroll taxes will cover only 75% of existing benefits.

This presentation came as a result of the 2023 Conference of Consulting Actuaries.

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Steve Goss Presentation, Chief Actuary Social SecurityPhoto byCCA

Meanwhile, inflation is raising the costs of those benefits. The Social Security Administration (SSA) recently announced that benefits will rise by 3.2% starting in 2024.

How to Fix Social Security

Mr. Goss also said that Social Security benefits will have to fall by 25%. Alternatively, the Social Security tax rate of 12.4% (i.e., payroll taxes) may have to rise by 33% in 2034.

That means it will have to go up to 16.5%. Usually, half of this is paid by employees and the other half by the employer.

That implies that most employees' Social Security rate may have to rise from 6.22% to 8.25% or so.

Or, it could be a combination of benefits cuts and payroll tax hikes. Either way, no one is going to be happy with the outcome.

The problem is Congress has done nothing, and likely still won't do anything, to fix the issue. At least, right now, even getting both sides to agree on a budget is such a hard thing.

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Mark R. Hake, CFA, writes articles on national and local news, stocks, and market events at Kiplinger.com, Barchart.com, Medium.com, and Newsbreak.com as well as TalkMarkets.


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Mark Hake is a financial analyst, investor, and Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA). He writes about US and foreign stocks and wealth, financial, and economic issues. He previously ran his own hedge fund and investment research firm and is presently Chief Strategy Officer for Foldstar Inc. and AnaChart.com.

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