2002 OASDI Trustees Report
The major findings of this report are summarized below.
Experience in Calendar Year 2001—At the end of December 2001, 45.9 million people were receiving benefits. An estimated 153 million people had earnings covered by Social Security in 2001. Total benefits paid in 2001 were $432 billion. With $602 billion in income, assets held in special issue U.S. Treasury securities grew to $1.2 trillion.
Short-range results—Under the intermediate assumptions the OASI and DI Trust Funds, individually and combined, are expected to be adequately financed over the next 10 years, with large and increasing annual surpluses over the period. The combined assets of the OASI and DI Trust Funds are projected to increase from the level of $1,213 billion at the beginning of 2002, or 261 percent of expenditures in 2002, to $3,382 billion at the beginning of 2011, or 447 percent of expenditures in 2011. Combined assets were projected in last year's report to rise to 264 percent of annual expenditures at the beginning of 2002, and 427 percent at the beginning of 2011.
Long-range results—Under the intermediate assumptions the combined OASI and DI Trust Funds are expected to become exhausted in 2041, 3 years later than projected in last year's report. The projected actuarial deficit is 1.87 percent of taxable payroll, 0.01 percent larger than in last year's report. Between about 2010 and 2030, OASDI costs will increase rapidly due to the retirement of the large baby-boom generation, and annual costs will exceed tax income starting in 2017. Thereafter, the upward shift in the average age of the population will continue, but at a slower pace, due to continued increases in life expectancy and relatively low fertility rates. The OASDI annual cost rate is projected to increase from 10.84 percent of taxable payroll for 2002 to 19.84 percent for 2076, or 6.42 percent of taxable payroll more than the projected income rate for that year. Expressed in relation to the projected gross domestic product (GDP), the OASDI costs are estimated to rise from the current level of 4.5 percent of GDP to 7.0 percent for 2076. Separately, the DI fund is projected to be exhausted in 2028 and the OASI fund in 2043.
Low cost and high cost assumptions—Under the low cost assumptions, both the OASI and the DI Trust Funds are projected to be adequately financed throughout the 75-year projection period, although projected costs exceed tax income by the end of the period. Under the high cost assumptions, the combined OASI and DI Trust Funds are projected to be exhausted in 2029, and the OASDI cost rate rises sharply to 28.51 percent of taxable payroll by 2076. Individually, the DI fund would be exhausted in 2015 and the OASI fund in 2032 under the high cost assumptions.