Social Security Remains Strong Overall and Separate From the Budget

Social Security remains strong as seen in today's long-term projected outlook by the Social Security Trustees. While today's report reminds us that we must eventually make modest changes to ensure current and future generations of Social Security beneficiaries receive what they've earned, it confirms that Social Security can continue to pay full benefits for nearly two decades.

Social security cards

The Trustees once again report that the combined Old Age, Survivor and Disability Insurance Trust can pay full retirement, survivor and disability benefits for approximately two more decades, and about 75 percent of benefits beyond that time for at least several generations more.

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While the Trustees report that the Disability Insurance Trust Fund faces a fast-approaching funding gap, the report confirms that if the combined resources of the Social Security Trust Funds are rebalanced, no beneficiary needs to face an imminent reduction in his or her earned benefits.

To ensure full benefits over the long term, we must begin with a national debate on growing retirement insecurity and the critical role of Social Security in the retirement income framework. Americans of all ages deserve an honest and open national discussion about the value of Social Security and its importance to millions of retired workers, spouses, children, veterans and persons with disabilities. We strongly urge Congress to hold a separate debate on the solvency and adequacy of Social Security, as it is a separate, self-financed program that people pay into throughout their lives and count on for each generation of our families.

Too many politicians in Washington talk about harmful changes to Social Security as part of a budget debate without considering the devastating impact such changes would have on the millions of American families who depend on their earned benefits. AARP believes it is wrong to try to balance the budget by jeopardizing Americans' income security, especially when so many have woefully little set aside for retirement and struggle with even their own current economic security.

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