The Role of the Chief Actuary of Social Security

By: Robert Rosenblatt and Larry DeWitt
Published: June 2004
Social Security Brief No. 17 ~ June 2004

Summary: The work done by the Office of the Chief Actuary is at the core of understanding the Social Security system and helps shape policy decisions that can have an impact on the country's taxpayers and beneficiaries for many years. The actuaries track the income and outgo for the system and make projections of its finances 75 years into the future. From the passage of the Social Security law in 1935 actuaries have been central to the management of the program and its policy planning. Regardless of who controls the White House and Congress, the actuaries have been able to demonstrate their credibility. Actuaries bring to the table mathematical rigor, humility, a strong degree of credibility and integrity, and political independence.