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Social Security Expected To Reduce Benefits By 2035 Without Intervention

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The Social Security program’s timetable for financial replenishment is undergoing an extension, according to its latest projections. On Monday, the federal retirement program indicated that it might delay the necessity of benefit cuts until 2035, a year later than previously anticipated, thanks to the stronger performance of the U.S. economy.

Martin O’Malley, Commissioner of Social Security, hailed the new forecast as “good news” for the program’s 70 million beneficiaries. Despite this, he urged Congress to take proactive measures to strengthen the program’s financial health, ensuring its ability to sustain full benefits “into the foreseeable future.”

Social Security operates by utilizing its trust funds to issue monthly payments to beneficiaries, primarily funded through payroll taxes from workers and businesses. However, the reserves in these funds are depleting due to a combination of factors, including the retirement of the baby boomer generation and the aging of the U.S. population.

Experts emphasize that if the trust funds are exhausted, benefits will not abruptly cease. Instead, recipients would face a reduction in their monthly payments. The agency’s latest projection suggests a potential 17% decrease in current benefits.

While such a scenario would be challenging for millions of retired and disabled Americans, it represents a slight improvement from last year’s forecast, which projected a potential 23% benefit cut upon trust fund depletion.

“Congress owes it to the American people to reach a bipartisan solution, ensuring people’s hard-earned Social Security benefits will be there in full for the decades ahead,” AARP CEO Jo Ann Jenkins said in a statement. “The stakes are simply too high to do nothing.”

Advocates for older Americans welcomed the improved financial outlook but urged Congress to take decisive action to address the program’s sustainability. Despite the impending funding crisis being well-known, lawmakers have yet to enact necessary measures, as highlighted by Maya MacGuineas, president of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, in a recent statement.

“Every year we get closer to the deadline, we seem to get further away from the solutions,” she said. Without a fix, “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.”

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