Social Security Finances: Findings of the 2003 Trustees Report

By: Catherine Hill and Virginia Reno
Published: March 2003
Social Security Brief No. 15 ~ March 2003

Social Security pays monthly benefits to retired and disabled workers, to their families, and to the families of deceased workers. Benefits and the administrative costs of the program are paid from the Social Security trust funds. The funds receive income from Social Security taxes paid by workers and matched by their employers; from income taxes that beneficiaries pay on their benefit income; and interest earnings on the trust funds' reserves. The Social Security Act establishes a Board of Trustees to oversee the management and investment of the trust funds, and requires it to report annually to Congress and the public on the financial status of the funds. The report is prepared by the Office of the Chief Actuary of the Social Security Administration. The complete report is available at This Brief gives an overview of the 2003 report.