Just saw this on Facebook:
Is the freehand-circled claim true? Does the United States Social Security have a surplus of $2.5 trillion?
Also, if the above is true, how did SS accrue this much extra?
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"Asset reserves" were $2,891.8 billion at the end of 2017.
The "net increase in asset reserves in 2017" was $44.1 billion.
The asset reserves of the combined trust funds were $2.9 trillion at the end of 2017. The trust fund reserves decline on a present value basis after 2017, but remain positive through 2033. However, after 2033 this cumulative amount becomes negative, which means that the combined OASI and DI Trust Funds have a net unfunded obligation through each year after 2033. Through the end of 2092, the combined funds have a present-value unfunded obligation of $13.2 trillion.
Starting in 1983, Social Security increased revenues (i.e. taxes), raised the retirement age for future beneficiaries, and adjusted spending. It is now over thirty years later and that surplus has been accruing interest over time. Less than $100 billion a year is not so much in the context of Social Security, which currently spends $988 billion per year (2018). Currently the trust fund has more than the $2.5 trillion claimed. Social Security statistics.
Throwing those numbers into a spreadsheet, I found that Social Security has collected more than $2 trillion as interest since 1983.
The idea was to prepare for the retirement of the baby boomers, who were born in 1946-1964. They started retiring on Social Security in 2008 (at age 62). The last will start in 2035 (at age 70.5). Perhaps not coincidentally, the Social Security trust fund is projected to run out of money in the early to mid 2030s. At that time, the trust fund would be covering about 25% of benefits.
Almost forty years of Social Security saving spent in less than twenty years.
Source: 2018 OASDI Trustees Report.