The main Social Security trust fund now has a projected depletion date of 2033, one year sooner than last year's estimate, according to the latest Social Security trustees' annual report.
If the trust fund were to become depleted, the fund's income would be sufficient to pay 77% of its scheduled benefits, according to the report.
Collectively, the Social Security trust funds — one that covers retirees and their families and one that covers disabled workers and their families — will be out of money by 2034.
The financial shortfall for the combined trust funds is now $22.4 trillion in present value over the next 75 years, up from $20.4 trillion in last year's report.
Since 2008, paced by retiring baby boomers, the number of Social Security beneficiaries has risen much faster than the increase in the number of covered workers, the report noted.
The trustees recommend that lawmakers address the projected trust fund shortfalls in a timely way in order to phase in necessary changes gradually and give workers and beneficiaries time to adjust to them.
"If substantial actions are deferred for several years, the changes necessary to maintain Social Security solvency would be concentrated on fewer years and fewer generations," the report said. "Significantly larger changes would be necessary if action is deferred until the combined trust fund reserves become depleted in 2034."
Jason Fichtner, vice president and chief economist at the Bipartisan Policy Center, said in a statement that "policymakers who are vowing never to touch the program or proposing purely partisan solutions are putting their heads in the sand and steering us toward the cliff."
In February, Democrats, led by Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., reintroduced a bill to extend the solvency of Social Security for 75 years and increase benefits. The bill would lift the income cap on Social Security taxes and subject all households making over $250,000 to the payroll tax. In 2023, the limit on income subject to Social Security taxes is $160,200, according to the Social Security Administration.
But the bill has no Republican support.
"Social Security will play a critical role in the lives of 67 million beneficiaries and 180 million covered workers and their families during 2023," the trustees' report said. "With informed discussion, creative thinking and timely legislative action, Social Security can continue to protect future generations."