Social Security strained as jobless retire early


Older workers, it seems, can't catch a break. First, declining stock prices and home values shriveled their nest eggs. Now, those who have lost their jobs and elected to retire early are putting a strain on Social Security.

For the first time since the Reagan era, the safety net for the nation's elderly will pay out more than it collects in taxes to the tune of $10 billion next year and $9 billion in 2011. With $2.5 trillion in surpluses in its coffers, the outlays won't bankrupt Social Security. But the amounts do get tagged onto the nation's ballooning federal deficit, which is expected to reach $1.58 trillion by September 30, the end of the government's fiscal year.

Originally published