Job losses causing huge deficits for Social Security

Arizona Republic

09/28/09

Big job losses and a spike in early-retirement claims from laid-off seniors will force Social Security to pay out more in benefits than it collects in taxes the next two years — the first time that has happened since the 1980s. The deficits — $10 billion in 2010 and $9 billion in 2011 — will not affect payments to retirees because Social Security has accumulated surpluses from previous years totaling $2.5 trillion. But they will add to the federal deficit. Applications for retirement benefits are 23 percent higher than last year, while disability claims have risen by about 20 percent. Social Security officials had expected applications to increase from the growing number of Baby Boomers reaching retirement, but they did not expect the increase to be so large. What happened? The recession hit, and many older workers suddenly found themselves laid off, with no place to turn but Social Security...

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Informant: Thomas L. Knapp



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