Social Security in an Era of Retrenchment: What Would Happen if the Social Security Trust Funds Were Exhausted?

ABA Journal of Labor & Employment Law, Vol. 28, No. 1, pp. 43-57, 2012

15 Pages Posted: 12 Dec 2013

See all articles by Kathryn L. Moore

Kathryn L. Moore

University of Kentucky College of Law

Date Written: September 1, 2012

Abstract

Social Security's income, including interest income on the Social Security trust funds' reserves, currently exceeds costs. The system, however, is facing a long-term deficit. Specifically, the Social Security Trustees project that, unless the Social Security Act is amended, by 2033 the system's reserves will be depleted, and its income will only be sufficient to cover about 75 percent of scheduled benefits.

This article addresses two questions related to the funding of Social Security. Part I discusses what would happen if the Social Security trust funds were exhausted. Part II discusses whether Congress could amend the Social Security Act to reduce retroactively scheduled but unpaid Social Security benefits.

Keywords: Social Security, SSA, benefits, trust fund, income, Social Security Trustees, Social Security Act, Congress, deficit

JEL Classification: K31

Suggested Citation

Moore, Kathryn L., Social Security in an Era of Retrenchment: What Would Happen if the Social Security Trust Funds Were Exhausted? (September 1, 2012). ABA Journal of Labor & Employment Law, Vol. 28, No. 1, pp. 43-57, 2012, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2366525

Kathryn L. Moore (Contact Author)

University of Kentucky College of Law ( email )

620 S. Limestone Street
Lexington, KY 40506-0048
United States
859-257-7637 (Phone)
859-323-1061 (Fax)

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