Social Security To See Shortfall This Year

03.26.10 | FL News Team

Social Security is going to pay out more money than it takes in this year -- something that wasn't expected to happen until six years from now. That's the word from the Congressional Budget Office, and it's backed by the Social Security Administration's chief actuary Stephen Goss. He told "The New York Times" even though revenue intake will be less than payouts during 2010, payments and benefits will not be cut. That's because there's sufficient money in the Social Security trust fund to last until 2037, according to government projections. By that time, the government must come up with a way to either boost the trust fund or face the prospect of reducing eligibility and benefits.

 Officials blame the economic downturn for Social Security revenue being short this year. Because millions of jobs have been lost and millions of paychecks shrunken, Social Security tax collections are coming in below expectations. For the year, Goss says the shortfall will be about 29-billion dollars. In a normal year, Social Security takes in and pays out about 700-billion dollars. Goss says the trust fund stands at about two-point-five-trillion dollars. The Social Security Administration is expected to issue a formal report on the status of its finances within a few weeks.