Social Security Tips for June, 2018

Social Security Combined Trust Fund Reserves Depletion Year Remains 2034 Says Board of Trustees

Disability Fund Improves by Four Years

The Social Security Board of Trustees has 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 (OASDI) Trust Funds are projected to become depleted in 2034, the same as projected last year, with 79% of benefits payable at that time.

Other highlights of the Trustees Report include:

  • Total income, including interest, to the combined OASDI Trust Funds amounted to $997 billion in 2017.  $874 billion from net payroll tax contributions, $38 billion from taxation of benefits, and $85 billion in interest.
  • Total expenditures from the combined OASDI Trust Funds amounted to more than $952 billion in 2017.
  • Social Security paid benefits of more than $941 billion in calendar year 2017.  The were about 62 million beneficiaries at the end of the calendar year.
  • The projected actuarial deficit over the 75 year long-range period is 2.84% of taxable payroll – slightly larger than the 2.83% projected in last years report.
  • During 2017, an estimated 174 million people had earnings covered by Social Security and paid payroll taxes.
  • The cost of $6.5 billion to administer the social security program in 2017 was a very low 0.7% of total expenditures.
  • The combined Trust Fund asset reserves earned interest at an effective annual rate of 3.0% in 2017.

View the 2018 Trustees Report at




The Q&A for the month:

Question: I have a married couple: wife 70, husband 73, (his SS is $2041 and her is $709) Is it possible that there is an error in their benefit?  I thought the wife was able to collect 50% of the spouse’s benefit.

Answer: If the husband filed at age 70, he is receiving additional delayed retirement credits. The spouse is eligible for 50% of his full benefit, not 50% of the increased benefit. Plus, if the wife filed prior to her full retirement age, she’s receiving a reduced benefit. If she filed at 62, she receives 70% of half of husband’s full benefit. So, yes, those amounts could be correct.

For example, if his full benefit were $1550 but he filed at 70, it would increase to $2046. Spouse is eligible for half of $1550 = $775. If wife files at 62, it brings the benefit down to about $542. So, even though he’s collecting $2046, she is collecting $542 in this example.

They can always call our national toll free number to inquire just to be sure: 1-800-772-1213between 7am and 7pm business days.

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