2022 OASDI Trustees Report

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The future income and cost of the OASI and DI Trust Funds will depend on many factors, including the size and characteristics of the population receiving benefits, the level of monthly benefit amounts, the size of the workforce, and the level of covered workers’ earnings. These factors will depend in turn on future birth rates, death rates, immigration, marriage and divorce rates, retirement-age patterns, disability incidence and termination rates, employment rates, productivity gains, wage increases, inflation, interest rates, and many other demographic, economic, and program-specific factors.
Table II.C1 presents key demographic, economic, and programmatic assumptions for three alternative scenarios. The intermediate assumptions reflect the Trustees’ best estimates of future experience. Therefore, most of the results presented in this overview indicate outcomes under the intermediate assumptions only. Any projection of the future is, of course, uncertain. For this reason, the Trustees also present results under low-cost and high-cost alternatives to provide a range of possible future experience. The actual future costs are unlikely to be as extreme as those portrayed by the low-cost or high-cost projections. A separate section on the uncertainty of the projections, beginning on page 19, highlights the implications of these alternative scenarios.
The Trustees reexamine the assumptions each year in light of recent experience and new information. This annual review helps to ensure that the Trustees’ assumptions provide the best estimate of future possibilities.
Table II.C1.—Key Assumptionsa and Summary Measures
for the Long-Range (75-year) Projection Period
Average annual total fertility rate (children per woman), for 2032 through 2096b
Consumer Price Index (CPI-W), for 2026 and later

See chapter V for details, including historical and projected values.

The ultimate total fertility rates of 2.00 for the intermediate assumptions, 2.20 for the low-cost assumptions, and 1.70 for the high-cost assumptions are fully reached for women of all ages in 2056. The cohort-based projection approach assumes that the ultimate rates will be achieved over the lifetime of women attaining age 14 soon after the start of the projection period, resulting in an extended transition from current low birth rates to ultimate birth rates. See section V.A.1 for additional details.

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