Last week, the Social Security Board of Trustees released its annual report on the financial health of the Social Security Trust Funds, showing an annual surplus of $69 billion in 2010. The report projects that annual surpluses will continue for the next 12 years and reserves will grow to $3.7 trillion by the end of 2022. The report forecasts that, if Congress takes no action in the meantime, in 2023 reserves would start to be drawn down to pay benefits and in 2036 reserves would be depleted and revenue coming into the funds would cover about 77% of scheduled benefits. In January 2011, 54.2 million people received Social Security. Beneficiaries include approximately 8.2 million workers with disabilities and 1 million adults whose disabilities began in childhood and who were dependents of deceased or retired parents, or parents with disabilities. The 2011 Trustees Report provides key data as Congress continues to develop and consider proposals to ensure the long-term solvency of Social Security. The report is available on the Social Security website.
Also last week, the Senate Finance Committee held a hearing on “Perspectives on Debt Reduction: Social Security.” The Committee heard from four witnesses on whether Social Security should be considered in legislation to reduce the federal deficit, or in separate legislation. The Arc believes that any adjustments to ensure the long-term solvency of Social Security should be made outside of a deficit reduction context.