2008 OASDI Trustees Report

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Future income and expenditures 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 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, and many other demographic, economic, and program-specific factors.
The intermediate demographic and economic assumptions shown in table II.C1, designated as alternative II, reflect the Trustees’ best estimates of future experience, and therefore most of the figures in this overview depict only the outcomes under the intermediate assumptions. Any projection of the future is, of course, uncertain. For this reason, alternatives I (low cost) and III (high cost) are included to provide a range of possible future experience. The assumptions for these two alternatives are also shown in table II.C1, and their implications are highlighted in a separate section on the uncertainty of the projections.
Assumptions are reexamined each year in light of recent experience and new information. This annual review helps to ensure that the assumptions provide the Trustees’ best estimate of future possibilities.
Table II.C1.—Ultimate1 Values of Key Demographic and Economic Assumptions
for the Long-Range (75-year) Projection Period
Total fertility rate (children per woman)
Average annual percentage reduction in total age-sex-adjusted death rates from 2032 to 2082

Ultimate values are assumed to be reached within 25 years. See chapter V for details, including historical values and projected values prior to reaching the ultimate.

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