Income from Social Security Administration (SSA) investments in the stock market kept SSA in the black when benefits expense rose and contributions dropped in 2021 according to the SSA report month ending September 2021.
SSA reported total year-to-date contributions at 20.5 million but the total benefits paid out was 26.5 million, 6 million more than contributions received. Social Security investment earnings over the same period were 17.9 million bringing total income to 38.4 million dollars. This left SSA with a positive balance of 10.3 million.
The COVID-19 pandemic compounded the problem. Social Security Administration lost around 294 members in 2020 compared to 2019 but it was not as steep as predicted due to CROSS Act and WIOA that kept people employed than were projected. Numbers further dropped in 2021 as the pandemic continued and more contract workers left the island. The number of new members enrolled dropped with foreign workers dropping to 359 in 2021 from 1,200 in 2020.
Fewer members resulted in less contribution to the fund but it is the consistent increase of benefit expense over contributions every year that puts SSA sustainability in jeopardy.
Social Security Administration has enjoyed a successful financial performance from its investments that have helped cover the benefits but it is not always guaranteed. SSA is working on new policy proposals to the Social Security Administration Act to ensure the sustainability of the system.