: 12 things you need to know about Social Security’s future, explained by the program’s chief number-cruncher 

by | Feb 7, 2023 | Stock Market

It’s a critical moment for Social Security–and a confusing one for the 65 million people currently receiving its benefits and those who hope to join their ranks in the future.  Lawmakers, think-tank prognosticators, and cable news anchors are hotly debating whether Social Security is going bankrupt. The answer is no–but it does face a serious shortfall. Congress needs to overhaul the program if it wants to avoid substantial benefit cuts 12 years from now. The need to raise the federal government’s debt ceiling this year, meanwhile, has turned up the heat on Social Security reform discussions, while also sparking fears that benefit payments could be disrupted later this year if the U.S. were to default on its debts.

At the center of this storm is Stephen Goss, Social Security’s chief actuary. His office sizes up the program’s future costs and income based on demographic and economic assumptions, calculating the potential impact of the myriad proposals that aim to overhaul Social Security. This year, Goss will mark 50 years at Social Security, and he has been chief actuary for nearly half that time. Goss has seen many Social Security reform ideas–as well as some debt-ceiling crises–come and go. And he has long urged Congress to move sooner rather than later to bolster the program’s financial po …

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