Social Security Financing

Informing Decisions for Uncertain Futures

by Audrey Chin

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This paper provides an overview of the Social Security financial system in the past and present and an analysis of the types of legislative, economic, and demographic uncertainties that are inherent in the forecasting process. The author builds an illustrative forecasting model that will better account for these inherent uncertainties. The model's results indicate (1) ways in which the proposed alternative forecasting strategy can provide policymakers with additional information about uncertainties in a given reference-version financial forecast when modeling inputs are varied, (2) the variations in inputs that might lead to outstandingly good and bad Social Security financial futures, and (3) the types of policy instruments that might be useful for countering unfavorable variations.

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