Many people are eagerly anticipating the upcoming presidential inauguration, but the reality is that Joe Biden is set to take office at a very precarious time. Not only must he address the pandemic and the glaring economic crisis it created, but he’ll also be tasked with helping Americans secure their retirement — an area where lawmaker support has been lacking.
In fact, in a recent Transamerica survey, 49% of workers say addressing Social Security’s funding shortfall should be a major priority for Biden and Congress. And given the hit the program may have taken during the pandemic, that’s even more important now than ever.
First, let’s get the doom and gloom out of the way. Social Security isn’t going completely bankrupt, despite rumors to the contrary. In the coming years, the program will owe more money in benefits than it collects in payroll tax revenue as baby boomers stage a mass exodus from the workforce, and too few replacement workers come in to pump money into Social Security. The program does have trust funds it can tap to compensate for a near-term revenue shortfall, but once those funds run out of money, benefit cuts will be on the table.