If nothing is done by Congress to restore Social Security funds, benefits would have to be cut by 2034 to ensure everyone gets the money they paid into the plan, the New York Times reported.
An annual report from the Social Security and Medicare Trustees calculated their numbers using the data from the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic that wasn't reflected in the previous Trustee report.
"The finances of both programs have been significantly affected by the pandemic and the recession of 2020," said the report. "Employment, earnings, interest rates, and GDP dropped substantially in the second calendar quarter of 2020 and are assumed to rise gradually thereafter toward full recovery by 2023, with the level of worker productivity and thus GDP assumed to be permanently lowered by 1 percent even as they are projected to resume their pre-pandemic trajectories."
Reductions in immigration are another major factor in being unable to maintain Social Security levels. The more people who pay into the program benefit the older generation. When American birth rates drop and immigrants are blocked from moving to the United States, the benefits also plummet.
Republicans have long sought to eliminate Social Security or use the money to privatize the fund. Because both parties are so far apart on a solution, nothing is generally decided on the fund until the last minute.
Read the full report from the New York Times.