The Social Security Trust Funds and Public Saving

29 Pages Posted: 1 Nov 2005

See all articles by Thomas L. Hungerford

Thomas L. Hungerford

National Academy of Social Insurance (NASI); Independent

Date Written: October 17, 2005


The Social Security program is one of the most popular and successful government programs in the United States. At the end of 2004, the OASDI trust funds held almost $1.7 trillion in Federal government bonds and notes. It is projected that the trust funds assets will be equivalent to over 20 percent of GDP by 2020. Several recent studies have concluded that the increases in the trust funds have been more than offset by reductions in surpluses elsewhere in the federal budget. Consequently, public saving has fallen as a result of the trust fund build-up since the mid-1980s. This study reexamines this issue and finds that the trust fund has had no impact on the rest of the federal budget.

Keywords: Social Security, federal budget, saving

JEL Classification: E21, H55, H61

Suggested Citation

Hungerford, Thomas L., The Social Security Trust Funds and Public Saving (October 17, 2005). Available at SSRN: or

Thomas L. Hungerford (Contact Author)

National Academy of Social Insurance (NASI) ( email )

1776 Massachusetts Avenue, NW
Suite 615
Washington, DC 20036-1904
United States

Independent ( email )

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