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Social Security's Financial Outlook: The 2008 Update in Perspective

Listed author(s):
  • Alicia H. Munnell

    (Center for Retirement Research, Boston College)

The Trustees of the Social Security system have just issued the 2008 projections for the system over the next 75 years. The report contains two surprises. First, the 75-year deficit dropped to 1.70 percent of tax­able payrolls from the roughly 2 percent it has been for the last 14 years. The decline was driven primar­ily by a change in the way Social Security projects immigration. Although the Trustees still project that the trust fund will be exhausted in 2041, the improved outlook enables scheduled payroll taxes to cover more than three-quarters of promised benefits after that point. The second noteworthy difference between this report and earlier ones is that it has not been signed by any public trustees. But this omission reflects a failure with the political process, not with the program itself.

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Paper provided by Center for Retirement Research in its series Issues in Brief with number ib2008-8-5.

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Length: 6 Pages
Date of creation: May 2008
Date of revision: May 2008
Publication status: Published on the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College Website
Handle: RePEc:crr:issbrf:ib2008-8-5
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