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Fed report projects full Social Security benefits will end year earlier as result of COVID economy

Social Security will have to cut benefits by 2034 – a year earlier than projected – without Congress' help.

Updated: September 1, 2021 - 9:48am

The Facts Inside Our Reporter’s Notebook

Social Security will have to cut benefits by 2034 – a year earlier than projected –  if Congress fails to fix the program's long-term funding shortfall, according to a new federal report.

The report released Tuesday by the Social Security and Medicare trustees follows a 2020 report that projected benefits would have to be cut by 2033.

By that time, the combined trust funds for Social Security will be depleted and will be able to pay only 78% in promised benefits to retirees and disabled beneficiaries, according to CNN.

The report found the pandemic and resulting economic recession acceleration rate, particularly the loss of jobs that resulted in a decline in payroll tax revenue. 

The new projections for Medicare are essentially the same as last year’s.

At the end of 2020, roughly 65 million people were receiving Social Security benefits and nearly 63 million were covered under Medicare, CNN also reports