"The sooner the policymakers address these challenges, the less disruptive the unavoidable adjustments will be ... The sooner the lawmakers act, the broader will be the array of policy options that they can consider.''
Added sole Republican trustee Charles Blahous: "It's getting very late in the game to forge a bipartisan compromise to sustain Social Security's finances.''
The report's conclusions largely mirrored those made earlier this month by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, which also pushed back to 2030 its projection of when Medicare's main trust fund would be exhausted.
Depletion of the Medicare and Social Security trust funds does not mean that all benefits would stop. At the current rate of payroll tax collections, Medicare would be able to pay about 85 percent of costs in 2030, declining to 75 percent by 2050.
Social Security would be able to pay about 80 percent of disability benefits starting in "late 2016,'' the Treasury Department said in a statement. In 2033, the Social Security program would only have money to cover about three-quarters of the pensions that it pays, Treasury said.
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