Social Security:

Past Projections and Future Financing Concerns

HRD-86-22: Published: Mar 11, 1986. Publicly Released: Mar 11, 1986.

Additional Materials:

Contact:

Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800
youngc1@gao.gov

Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the past and current projections for the Old Age and Survivors Insurance (OASI) trust fund, specifically the important assumptions underlying the revenue and spending projections that determine the trust fund balance.

GAO found that: (1) through 1982, projections of the OASI trust fund balance have been inaccurate, because the inability to foresee economic trends led to overestimated trust fund reserves; (2) while the Social Security Amendments of 1983 solved short-run problems to stabilize the declining OASI trust fund balance, a low level of trust fund reserves is anticipated for the next several years; (3) the accuracy of long-term projections depends on economic assumptions and projected increases in the ratio of beneficiaries; (4) a trust fund reserve buildup could reduce the tax burden that future generations would otherwise bear in order to finance future benefits; and (5) a projected buildup of trust fund reserves will depend on future economic conditions and congressional action since Congress can use the surplus to reduce payroll taxes, increase benefits, or invest in budget deficits.

Oct 12, 2017

Sep 26, 2017

Sep 7, 2017

Jul 31, 2017

Jul 26, 2017

Jul 24, 2017

Jun 28, 2017

Apr 26, 2017

Looking for more? Browse all our products here