Will Extending the Payroll Tax Cut Affect Social Security? No.

Lately, many Americans have asked me if the payroll tax cut will affect Social Security. The answer is simply no.

The payroll tax cut has given tax breaks to millions of families across the country this year, providing a boost to their pocketbooks. Extending it would ensure that taxes do not go up for nearly 160 million hardworking Americans on January 1st -- an increase of $1,000 for the typical household.

While more money stays in workers’ paychecks, the law specifies that Social Security receive every dollar it would have gotten even without the payroll tax cut. This happens by automatically transferring resources from the government’s general coffers to the Social Security Trust Fund. And indeed, the chief actuary of the Social Security Administration has confirmed that the payroll tax cut would have no impact on the Trust Fund.  

The President believes that Social Security is a sacred compact, that in return for a lifetime of hard work, America’s seniors will have a chance to retire with dignity. We have an obligation to keep that promise and safeguard and strengthen Social Security for seniors, people with disabilities and all Americans, both now and in the future.

The President also believes in the need to spur economic growth. The payroll tax cut will generate growth and put people back to work.

Jon Carson is Deputy Assistant to President and Director of the White House Office of Public Engagement