Social Security and Medicare Trustees Confirm Trust Funds Need Saving

The Trustees for Social Security and Medicare released their annual report on the status of the trust funds today. The Trustees project the Medicare Hospital Insurance (HI) trust fund will exhaust its reserves in 2036 while the Social Security Old-Age and Survivors Insurance (OASI) trust fund will be insolvent by 2033. The theoretically combined Social Security trust fund is projected to deplete its reserves by 2035, just over a decade from now.

You can read our preliminary analysis of the reports here. A full analysis will be published later today.

The following is a statement from Maya MacGuineas, president of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget:

We’re less than a decade away from a massive solvency crisis that would slash benefits for over 67 million seniors and severely limit their access to health care soon after. But instead of running to fix this problem, our politicians are running away from it.

Social Security’s retirement trust fund will be insolvent when today’s 58 year-olds reach the normal retirement age and today’s youngest retirees turn 71. Without action, current and near-retirees will face a massive immediate 21 percent benefit cut. Medicare payments will be cut 11 percent in 2036.

The absurd part is that we’ve known insolvency was looming for quite some time. We’re driving straight into this mess despite all the warning bells and alarms that the Trustees and others have been ringing for decades now. Every year we get closer to the deadline, we seem to get further away from the solutions.

Many political leaders in both parties, from the top on down, would rather demagogue the issue than actually fix it.  

As we head into peak campaign season, it is our job as Americans and the voting public to ensure that we demand President Biden and President Trump present us with a realistic, detailed plan to avert trust fund insolvency. And they need to work with Congress to implement a plan. Time is running out. 

Register for our event on “Checking in on the Medicare & Social Security Trust Funds” on Tuesday, May 7 at 12 pm EDT here.