The brief's key findings are:
Social Security’s trust fund is projected to deplete its reserves in 2034, after which ongoing revenues will cover only about three-quarters of scheduled benefits.
News coverage tends to emphasize the depletion date over the ongoing tax revenues, often with alarming headlines.
To gauge how such coverage could affect worker behavior, this study used an online experiment that showed different headlines to different groups.
Participants responded to headlines on trust fund depletion by reducing their intended claiming age, with no change in their intended savings rate.
If workers follow through with such intentions, claiming early would lock in lower monthly benefits without increased saving to make up the gap.