Table VI.F1 shows that the OASDI open-group unfunded obligation over the infinite horizon is $43.2 trillion in present value, which is $29.3 trillion larger than for the 75‑year period. The $29.3 trillion increment reflects a significant financing gap projected for OASDI for years after 2093 into perpetuity. Of course, the degree of uncertainty associated with estimates increases substantially for years further in the future.To illustrate the magnitude of the projected infinite horizon shortfall, consider that it could be eliminated with additional revenue equivalent to an immediate increase in the combined payroll tax rate from 12.4 percent to about 16.7 percent,^{1}or with cost reductions equivalent to an immediate and permanent reduction in benefits for all current and future beneficiaries by about 25 percent.

The infinite horizon unfunded obligation expressed as a share of taxable payroll is higher than in last year’s report by 0.1 percentage point. The infinite horizon unfunded obligation expressed as a share of GDP is higher than in last year’s report by less than 0.05 percentage point. The infinite horizon unfunded obligation as a share of both taxable payroll and GDP changed relatively little, because the reduction in the ultimate real interest rate increased the present value of taxable payroll and of GDP by almost as much as it increased the present value of the unfunded obligation. See section IV.B.6 for details regarding changes in law, data, methods, and assumptions.Table VI.F2 separates the components of the infinite horizon unfunded obligation (with the exception of General Fund reimbursements) among past, current, and future participants. The table does not separate past General Fund reimbursements among participants because there is no clear basis for attributing the reimbursements across generations.The excess of the present value of cost for past and current participants over the present value of dedicated tax income for past and current participants produces an unfunded obligation for past and current participants of $35.9 trillion. Table VI.F2 also shows an unfunded obligation of $35.2 trillion for past and current participants, including past and future General Fund reimbursements. Future participants are scheduled to pay dedicated taxes of $7.9 trillion less into the system than the cost of their scheduled benefits ($105.2 trillion of dedicated tax income as compared to $113.1 trillion of cost). The unfunded obligation for all participants through the infinite horizon thus equals $43.2 trillion.

SSA Home | Privacy Policy | Website Policies & Other Important Information | Site Map | Actuarial Publications | April 22, 2019 |