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Social Security Finances: Findings of the 2008 Trustees Report

By: Joni Lavery
Published: March 2008
Social Security Brief No. 28 ~ March 2008

Summary:
In January 2008, 50.0 million people, or about one in every six U.S. residents, received Social Security benefits. The benefits are financed by dedicated taxes on earnings paid by workers and employers, by income taxes that upper income beneficiaries pay on part of their Social Security benefits, and by interest earned on accumulated trust fund reserves. According to the 2008 Trustees report, the Social Security trust funds will have an annual surplus of $196 billion in 2008. Annual surpluses are projected to continue for the next 18 years and reserves are projected to grow to $5,526 billion by the end of 2026. Beginning in 2017, tax revenues flowing into the trust funds will be less than total expenditures. In 2041, the reserves are projected to be depleted. At that time, tax income coming into the trust funds will cover about 78 percent of benefits due, according to the 2008 report of the Social Security Trustees.