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Disability Trust Fund Solvency Extended To 2032; 2019 COLA Projected At 2.4%

2018 June 6
by Steve Perrigo

The Disability Insurance (DI) Trust Fund has gained another four years in solvency, with reserves now projected to last until 2032, or 14 years from now, according to the annual report of the Social Security Board of Trustees. Factors in the extended solvency include the declining number of SSDI applications, leading to lower projected disability incidence rates; and lower average benefit levels for former workers receiving benefits in 2017 and later. At that time, 96% of benefits would still be payable.

The summary also states 10 years have been added to the DI fund solvency since the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015 was passed. The Act temporarily reallocated a portion of the FICA tax rate from the Old-Age and Survivors Insurance (OASI) Trust Fund to the DI Trust Fund to address solvency concerns.

The combined OASDI trust funds are projected to remain solvent until 2034, the same as last year, with 79% of benefits still payable.

The Social Security Subcommittee of the House Ways and Means Committee has scheduled a hearing, “Examining Social Security’s Solvency Challenge: The Status of Social Security’s Trust Funds,” for Thursday, June 7, at 11 a.m. Eastern. The SSA also issued a press release summarizing the report.

The report also projects a cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) of 2.4% in December 2018, based on intermediate estimates for the Consumer Price Index (CPI). The official COLA will not be available until later in the year, following third-quarter results from the CPI for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers, or CPI-W.

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