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The future of Social Security is in the spotlight these days.  Social Security is primarily financed by payroll taxes. As long as people work, the system will never completely run out of money.

The Social Security taxes you pay go into the Social Security Trust Funds and are used to pay benefits to current beneficiaries. Estimates made by the Social Security Board of Trustees are that in 2034 the Trust Funds will be depleted. 

What happens then?  Social Security will still be around but its cash reserves will be depleted.  It will only be able to pay out what it takes in each year. In this scenario, Social Security could pay about 77 percent of retirement benefits and 96 percent of disability benefits.

Why is the future of Social Security uncertain?  It's mainly due to demographics. We're living longer and healthier lives ... and this is good news. In addition, "baby boomers" began retiring in 2008, and at the same time subsequent generations are having fewer offspring which means fewer workers paying into Social Security.  

This is why your personal savings, and not Social Security, should be key to your retirement planning.

If you would like more information on how the Social Security program works, what benefits you may be entitled to under current law, or the critical financial issues now facing the program, call Social Security's toll-free number— 1-800-772-1213.

If you are deaf or hard of hearing, you may call the toll-free TTY number-1-800-325-0778. Or you can visit their website at
www.ssa.gov.