Andrew Saul

Social Security Commissioner Andrew Saul said, “The projections in this year’s report do not reflect the potential effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the Social Security program.”

The Social Security Board of Trustees recently released its annual report on the long-term financial status of the Social Security Trust Funds. The combined asset reserves of the Old-Age and Survivors Insurance and Disability Insurance (OASI and DI) Trust Funds are projected to become depleted in 2035, the same as projected last year, with 79 percent of benefits payable at that time.

Projections in the report do not reflect the potential effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, the trustees stated. In the 2020 Annual Report to Congress, the trustees announced:

• The asset reserves of the combined OASI and DI Trust Funds increased by $2.5 billion in 2019 to a total of $2.897 trillion.

• The total annual cost of the program is projected to exceed total annual income, for the first time since 1982, in 2021 and remain higher throughout the 75-year projection period. As a result, asset reserves are expected to decline during 2021.

• Social Security’s cost has exceeded its non-interest income since 2010.

“The projections in this year’s report do not reflect the potential effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the Social Security program,” said Andrew Saul, Commissioner of Social Security. “Given the uncertainty associated with these impacts, the Trustees believe it is not possible to adjust estimates accurately at this time. The duration and severity of the pandemic will affect the estimates presented in this year’s report and the financial status of the program, particularly in the short term.”

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