Tag Archives: actuary

It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s Actuary Man!

SuperheroDamian Paletta and Josh Zumbrun, journalists covering economic policy for The Wall Street Journal, published Has Social Security Disability Enrollment Hit Plateau?

The title is a question.

A graph in the article answers the question.

Yes.  Disability enrollment has plateaued.

Smiling senior man holding a big black arrow pointing down isola

Mr. Paletta and Zumbrun wonder aloud if “the program has actually peaked and [if it] will ever recede.” 

But … Mr. Paletta and Mr. Zumbrun are mere mortals, they are not … Actuary Man!   Superhero

Actuary Man, the mild-mannered Stephen C. Goss, Chief Actuary for the Social Security Administration whose superpower is a mathematically based Nostradamus-like ability to foretell the future, has predicted, based on demographic and stochastic modeling, exactly this plateau of the numbers of people enrolled in the disability programs.

On March 13, 2014, Mr. Goss testified before Congress.  His testimony was replete with charts and graphs explaining the demographic swell that is and was the baby boom and how it Two young people under an umbrella bringing a teddy bear and floaffects claims on Social Security’s disability and retirement programs and Medicare costs.

Mr. Goss also explained how the drop in the birth rate following the baby boom created higher costs for these programs relative to taxable income, but that the circumstance will stabilize as the baby boomers … um … no longer need these supports.