How Much Money is Owed to The Social Security Trust Fund?





Money with wings - IllustrationAs of this moment, the current outstanding debt load of the United States is roughly $16.8 trillion.

Of this total, roughly $12 trillion is in the form of "public debt" (this is debt that is owned by investors, pensions, hedge funds, etc), while the remainder ($4.83 trillion) is in the form of "intragovernmental holdings".

"Intragovernmental holdings" is money that the US government owes to programs such as Social Security, the Civil Service Retirement and Disability Fund and others.

According to federal law, any excess funds that are held in funds such as the Social Security Trust, Department of Defense Military Retirement Fund and others must "be invested in interest-bearing securities backed by the full faith and credit of the United States."

So, in short, the United States issues IOUs to all of these different funds and uses the money to fund their ongoing operations.

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As mentioned, roughly $4.83 trillion is currently owed to Social Security, the Civil Service Retirement and Disability Fund and a wide variety of different programs.

Let's take a look at the federal government's top ten intragovernmental holdings as of March 31st, 2013:

Federal Old-Age and Survivors Insurance Trust Fund, $2.614 trillion
Civil Service Retirement and Disability Fund, $811.5 billion
Department of Defense Military Retirement Fund, $426.54 billion
Federal Hospital Insurance Trust Fund, $208.55 billion
Department of Defense, Medicare Eligible Retirement Fund, $187.5 billion
Federal Disability Insurance Trust Fund, $114.97 billion
Federal Supplementary Medical Insurance Trust Fund, $68.37 billion
Nuclear Waste Disposal Fund, $50.06 billion
Postal Service Retiree Health Benefits Fund, $46.14 billion
Employees' Life Insurance Fund, $41.5 billion

This is all money that the US government owes to these programs, as these programs were forced, by federal law, to lend any of their excess money to the federal government.

The US government doesn't have a massive money bin, a la Scrooge McDuck, where they are squirrelling away the $2.6 trillion that has been contributed by the American people to the Federal Old-Age and Survivors Insurance Trust Fund. The reality is that this money has been borrowed and spent.




Filed under: General Knowledge

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