|GDP||gross domestic product|
|NRA||normal retirement age|
|OASDI||Old-Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance|
|OASI||Old-Age and Survivors Insurance|
|PAYGO||pay as you go|
As a result of changes to Social Security enacted in 1983, benefits are now expected to be payable in full on a timely basis until 2037, when the trust fund reserves are projected to become exhausted.1 At the point where the reserves are used up, continuing taxes are expected to be enough to pay 76 percent of scheduled benefits. Thus, the Congress will need to make changes to the scheduled benefits and revenue sources for the program in the future. The Social Security Board of Trustees project that changes equivalent to an immediate reduction in benefits of about 13 percent, or an immediate increase in the combined payroll tax rate from 12.4 percent to 14.4 percent, or some combination of these changes, would be sufficient to allow full payment of the scheduled benefits for the next 75 years.
Since the inception of the Social Security program in 1935, scheduled benefits have always been paid on a timely basis through a series of modifications in the law that will continue. Social Security provides a basic level of monthly income to workers and their families after the workers have reached old age, become disabled, or died. The program now provides benefits to over 50 million people and is financed with the payroll taxes from over 150 million workers and their employers. Further modifications of the program are a certainty as the Congress continues to evolve and shape this program, reflecting the desires of each new generation.
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