WARNING: Asterisk on Social Security Statement Scares Seniors

ssMany Americans count on Social Security to be there when they retire or when they need it later in life. It’s been one of the great perceived promises since “The New Deal” of the 1930’s. The government will take care of you, we’re told. And that’s why we’re okay with that deduction on each paycheck, because we know we’ll get it back later in life, or that’s what one writer thought until he noticed the asterisk on his Social Security statement.

According to the Conservative Tribune:

A writer for National Review explained that his statement said he could expect to receive “about $2,136 a month” if he were to retire at age 70. However, the asterisk that appeared on the statement revealed there was a bit of a catch.


“The law governing benefit amounts may change because, by 2033, the payroll taxes collected will be enough to pay only about 77 percent of scheduled benefits,” the footnote read.


That would be a reduction of about $492 a month for the writer — quite a significant chunk.


But wait, there’s more — and it only gets worse.


The same writer referred to his 2009 Social Security statement, which bore a similar asterisk. The text, however, was different.


“The law governing benefit amounts may change because, by 2041, the payroll taxes collected will be enough to pay only about 78 percent of your scheduled benefits,” that message read.


In a period of six years, the timeline has shifted eight years earlier and one percentage point down. And, if the 2014 Social Security Trustees Report is any indication, we can continue to expect both numbers to get lower.

Learning that your Social Security payments are not secure is causing many seniors to panic. It’s going to be hard enough to live on the projected benefit payments, but to consider trying to live and survive on just 77% of projected benefits is even more concerning.

What do you think? Should the government honor 100% of its obligations? Leave a comment with your thoughts below.