Former President Donald Trump, with an estimated net worth of $2.5 billion, may not need a monthly Social Security check to pay bills. With 15 years of eligibility and reaching his full retirement age over a decade ago, Trump likely qualifies for the maximum Social Security payment in 2023, which is $4,555 a month. However, Trump’s tax returns revealed that he had no Social Security income for tax years 2015 through 2020.
Many wealthy people are under no obligation to claim Social Security retirement benefits, and some would like to see all wealthy retirees disqualified from collecting or have their benefits greatly reduced. The program’s Old Age and Survivors Insurance (OASI) Trust Fund is expected to run out of money in about a decade, leaving it solely reliant on payroll taxes for funding. Not paying Social Security to the wealthy would help a little, but not nearly enough to make up for the shortfall.
Trump qualifies for a pension as a former president, having already collected about $342,000 in pension benefits since leaving office 19 months earlier. Whether or not all wealthy retirees should skip collecting Social Security is up for debate. Some reasons they might consider collecting it include paying into the system, having a right to the money, and having their loved ones eligible for Social Security benefits under the high earner’s work record. President Joe Biden does collect Social Security, with Biden and his wife Jill collecting a combined $54,665 in benefits in 2021.