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Combined Social Security trust fund projected to deplete reserves by 2035

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(The Center Square) – Two reports released Monday show that the U.S. combined Social Security trust fund is projected to deplete its reserves by 2035.

The Trustees for Social Security and Medicare released annual reports on Monday. The Trustees projected the Medicare Hospital Insurance trust fund will exhaust its reserves in 2036. The Social Security Old-Age and Survivors Insurance (OASI) trust fund was projected to be insolvent by 2033.

Maya MacGuineas, president of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, said the reports reflect what Congress has long known.

“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,” she said in a statement. “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.”

Michael Peterson, CEO of the Peter G. Peterson Foundation, said the reports should serve as yet another wake-up call for lawmakers.

“Today’s Trustees reports drive home the fact that the clock is ticking down on automatic cuts to Social Security and Medicare. It’s actually harmful to promise not to touch these essential programs, because failing to act will mean significant, immediate cuts that affect millions of Americans,” he said in a statement. “Continuing to ignore these warnings puts beneficiaries at risk, creates economic uncertainty and adds to our fiscal challenges. Yet the trust fund depletion dates have grown closer and closer. In fact, we haven’t been this close to the depletion of Social Security since the last bipartisan reforms done in 1983.”

Commissioner of Social Security Martin O’Malley also called for action.

“Congress can and should take action to extend the financial health of the Trust Fund into the foreseeable future, just as it did in the past on a bipartisan basis,” he said in a statement. “Eliminating the shortfall will bring peace of mind to Social Security’s 70 million-plus beneficiaries, the 180 million workers and their families who contribute to Social Security, and the entire nation.”

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