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Key Findings Details

Marking Social Security's Open Group Liability to Market
Paul Anton Koehler and Laurence J. Kotlikoff
WP 2009-217

  • We find that the market value of Social Security’s open group liability may be many times larger than the $15.1 trillion stated in the Trustees’ 2009 Report.
  • The open group liability refers to what it will cost to keep the system operating as is indefinitely.
  • We treat the growth rates of benefits and contributions as returns from a hypothetical security.
  • We achieve mixed results -- some show the unfunded liability to be much larger than the Trustees’ Report, while some scenarios feature positive numbers.