U.S. Social Security payments are expected to exceed receipts in 2010 for the first in almost 30 years due to effects of the recession, although the long-term health of the program remains unchanged from last year, according to a recent government report.
The program is set to run a $41 billion deficit excluding interest income as a result of the economic downturn and corrections of excess revenue credited to trust funds in recent years, marking the first shortfall since 1983.
The program is due to exhaust reserves in 2037, when the number of beneficiaries exceeds the number of workers paying taxes to fund it.
The report also noted that prospects for another major entitlement program drastically improved from last year due to cost cuts resulting from health care reform.
Finally, the Medicare hospital trust fund is not projected to exhaust itself until 2029, 12 years later than forecast in last year's report.