The program's trustees said the shortfall trend could worsen in the decades to come.
Indeed, the trustees of Social Security and Medicare forecast the program's reserves will be depleted by 2034, at which point it won't be able to pay full benefits on a timely basis. The report said that if the funds are depleted, the program could pay about three-quarters of benefits.
Because Social Security is a main source of income for older Americans, that scenario could crimp household budgets for seniors and even push some into poverty. About 23 percent of older married couples rely on Social Security as their main source of income, according to the program.
"Workers should panic, but not because of the most recent Trustee report," said Bankrate analyst Taylor Tepper. "Workers should panic because they aren't saving nearly enough for retirement."