Skip to main content
  • Click to open or close the program search boxShow Me Programs
    • Show me the programs that are
      performing Go
    • Show me the programs that are
Program Assessment


View Assessment Details

Social Security Old-Age and Survivors Insurance

The purpose of the program is to provide monthly income to aged insured individuals, their dependents, and also survivors of insured individuals.


What This Rating Means

Moderately Effective

In general, a program rated Moderately Effective has set ambitious goals and is well-managed. Moderately Effective programs likely need to improve their efficiency or address other problems in the programs' design or management in order to achieve better results.
  • The program's long-term financial shortfall presents a major challenge over the long term. The Social Security Board of Trustees reported that, according to intermediate assumptions, the program will begin to experience cash flow deficits in 2018 and in 2042 will be unable to make scheduled benefit payments on a timely basis.
  • The program operates extremely efficiently and effectively. Total administrative costs are less than 1 percent of total program outlays and payment accuracy is over 99.5 percent for each of the last 5 years.
  • The program provides benefits to 34 million retired beneficiaries and their dependents and to 7 million survivors of deceased workers. Of covered workers age 20 through 49 in 2006, 97 percent have acquired survivorship protection for their children under age 18 and surviving spouses caring for children under age 16. Of the population age 65 or over, 91 percent are receiving benefits.

Improvement Plan

About Improvement Plans

We are taking the following actions to improve the performance of the program:

  • Educating the American people on the solvency issues facing the OASI program and working with the Administration and Congress on legislative reform proposals necessary to achieve long-term solvency.
  • Updating the tactical plan for electronic services to include IT and non-IT projects that will be developed and implemented.
  • Developing new automated techniques to detect and correct errors in name/Social Security Number matching.

Learn More

The content on is developed by the U.S. Office of Management and Budget and Federal agencies.