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Social Security Finances: Findings of the 2010 Trustees Report

By: Virginia P. Reno and Elizabeth Lamme
Published: August 2010

Social Security Brief No. 34 ~ August 2010

Summary: In January 2010, 52.7 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 2010 Trustees report, the Social Security trust funds will have an annual surplus of $77 billion in 2010. Annual surpluses are projected to continue for the next 15 years (2010-24) and reserves are projected to grow to $4,200 billion by the end of 2024. Beginning in 2025, reserves will start to be drawn down to pay benefits. In 2037, 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 2010 report of the Social Security Trustees.

-> For more information see: Quick Answers to Common Questions about Social Security and Social Security and Budget Deficits: Don’t Lose Sight of the Facts.