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As it is, I am unable to reconcile the complaints that "people don't get back what they put in", and yet apparently the system is disgorging so much money that "it is going broke." Either people (in aggregate) are getting more out than they put in, or the system isn't going broke. Which is it?

You really didn't think through that one did you?

There are no individual accounts within SS. It is a paygo system where there are about 3 contributors (people that pay SS tax) for every beneficiary that collects SS benefits.

That is not enough to meet current benefit needs. If there was no Trust Fund surplus, SS would already be effectively broke.

Thankfully, that ratio was much higher in prior years so we did build up a surplus.

That declining trend will accelerate.

The 2015 reports project that the DI, OASI, and HI Trust Funds will all be depleted within the next 20 years. The following table shows key dates for the respective trust funds as well as for the theoretical combined OASDI trust funds.


SS is clearly going broke.

None of that has anything to do with whether or not someone gets back at least what they put in. A system can create winners and losers irregardless of whether or not it has a growing or falling balance.

I fully expect to profit from SS - but then I am an upper middle class married white male with a working spouse. As long as we both live to our average life expectancy, we will do just fine.

If I was a single black man with adult children, I would not be too excited about the possibility of me or my heirs getting back at least what I put in.
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