According to the report, the Disability Insurance (DI) Trust Fund will be exhausted in 2016, two years earlier than last year’s estimate. The report also projected that the Old-Age and Survivors Insurance, and Disability Insurance (OASDI) program costs will exceed non-interest income in 2012 and will remain higher throughout the remainder of the 75-year period.
Also announced in the report:
• The projected point at which the combined Trust Funds will be exhausted comes in 2033 – three years sooner than projected last year. At that time, there will be sufficient non-interest income coming in to pay about 75% of scheduled benefits;
• The projected actuarial deficit over the 75-year long-range period is 2.67% of taxable payroll—0.44 percentage point larger than in last year’s report;
• Over the 75-year period, the Trust Funds would require additional revenue equivalent to $8.6 trillion in present value dollars to pay all scheduled benefits;
• Income including interest to the combined OASDI Trust Funds amounted to $805 billion in 2011. ($564 billion in net contributions, $24 billion from taxation of benefits, $114 billion in interest, and $103 billion in reimbursements from the General Fund of the Treasury—almost exclusively resulting from the 2011 payroll tax legislation);
• Total expenditures from the combined OASDI Trust Funds amounted to $736 billion in 2011;
The report also said:
• Non-interest income fell below program costs in 2010 for the first time since 1983. Program costs are projected to exceed non-interest income throughout the remainder of the 75-year period;
• The assets of the combined OASDI Trust Funds increased by $69 billion in 2011 to a total of $2.7 trillion;
• During 2011, an estimated 158 million people had earnings covered by Social Security and paid payroll taxes;
• Social Security paid benefits of $725 billion in calendar year 2011. There were about 55 million beneficiaries at the end of the calendar year;
• The cost of $6.4 billion to administer the program in 2011 was a very low 0.9% of total expenditures; and
• The combined Trust Fund assets earned interest at an effective annual rate of 4.4% in 2011.
“This year’s Trustees Report contains troubling, but not unexpected, projections about Social Security’s finances. It once again emphasizes that Congress needs to act to ensure the long-term solvency of this important program, and needs to act within four years to avoid automatic cuts to people receiving disability benefits,” said Michael J. Astrue, commissioner of Social Security.
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