social security trust fund

What's Next for Social Security?

Lately, nearly every time the Social Security Trustees have reported on the program's health, the news has gotten worse. Here's what we can expect from their next report.

How 'Chained CPI' Will Hit Your Pocketbook

Obama's new budget proposal includes changing some key inflation calculations to "chained CPI" -- a controversial shift because of the effect it may have on personal finances.

Counterpoint: Soften the Blow of Social Security's Fall

Thanks to the expiration of the temporary payroll tax cut at the end of this year, President Obama has a historic opportunity to shore up Social Security. The Motley Fool's Chuck Saletta explains how this tax hike could be the best thing for the country.

Goodbye, Payroll Tax Holiday; Hello, Tax Hike for the 47%

Even if you're part of the 47% who don't pay federal income taxes, you probably do pay payroll taxes. A few years ago, President Obama and his allies in Congress cut you a break to ease the pain of the recession: a 2 percentage point payroll tax holiday. Well, the holiday is over.

What's Happening to Social Security Next Year?

If you're receiving Social Security benefits, your check will rise by 1.7% in 2013, thanks to that program's most recent annual cost-of-living adjustment. If, on the other hand, you're still working and paying into Social Security, your taxes are going back up next year.

A Radical Solution for the Social Security Crisis: Have More Babies!

In the debate over how to keep Social Security afloat, two proposals dominate: Either raise taxes or cut benefits. Neither is an attractive option, but one there is little-mentioned solution that could fix Social Security almost painlessly: Make more cute little Americans.

Fiscal Cliff Ahead: The Party's Over for the Payroll Tax Holiday

When pundits talk about the fiscal cliff, they7 usually focus on the damage that'll be caused by the expiring Bush tax cuts and the across-the-board budget cuts. But what you'll probably feel first will be the end of the payroll tax holiday, which will take an instant bite out of your paycheck.

A 5-Step Plan to Fill That Scary Retirement Income Gap

The average Gen Xer is on track to face $1,700 a month income gap in retirement. The average baby boomers will fall a whopping $2,100 a month short. Those may sound like insurmountable numbers, but don't throw in the towel yet.

Ponzi Scheme or Not, Social Security Is Going to Shrink

Social Security's trust fund is in the long, slow process of collapsing because it won't have enough funds to pay its promised benefits. Sound like a Ponzi scheme? Perhaps, but at least this "scheme" is one in which you can come out ahead -- especially if you start preparing now.

Social Security Going Bust? That's the Small Problem

The woes Social Security faces have generated plenty of worried talk lately, but even if nothing changes, it'll be solvent until 2036. But Medicare, the other major government program that retirees rely on, is on course for financial disaster years sooner. That program, of course, is Medicare, and the funding situation for the portion of its benefits that retirees receive looks even scarier than Social Security's prospects right now.

Why Social Security Is Still Falling Apart

Social Security spent $49 billion more in 2010 than it took in as tax collections. By the time 2011 ends, it expects to outspend collections by another $46 billion. At this rate, the program's much-touted "Trust Fund" is expected to be depleted by 2036; without that fund, benefits are expected to fall to about three-quarters of current promised levels.

Social Insecurity: Inside the 'Trust Fund' Illusion

The federal government has been borrowing Social Security's surpluses for decades and issuing the program IOUs in return. However, the ability to pay those IOUs depends on the Treasury borrowing more money on global bond market at affordable rates. That's hardly a sure thing.

Social Security Is in Far Worse Shape Than You Think

For years, policymakers have reassured the public that Social Security will be solvent for decades. But federal spending and income data from the Treasury reveals that Social Security is already deep in the red, with outlays exceeding payroll tax revenues by $76 billion in 2010 alone.