The economic fallout of the current pandemic will likely be felt by retirees for years and possibly decades to come.

“As long as workers aren’t getting paychecks, then Social Security’s financing is going to take a hit,” said Kathleen Romig, a Social Security analyst, during an appearance in Yahoo Finance on Wednesday.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Romig, a senior policy analyst at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, said there will be an impact but it’s still “not clear exactly how much.” Romig appeared as part of Yahoo Finance’s ongoing partnership with the Funding our Future campaign, a group of organizations advocating for increased retirement security for Americans.” data-reactid=”18″>Romig, a senior policy analyst at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, said there will be an impact but it’s still “not clear exactly how much.” Romig appeared as part of Yahoo Finance’s ongoing partnership with the Funding our Future campaign, a group of organizations advocating for increased retirement security for Americans.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="The 2020 Social Security and Medicare trustees report, which was published last week, showed that Social Security could pay full scheduled benefits until 2035, and that the Medicare’s Hospital Insurance Trust Fund would be depleted earlier, in 2026.” data-reactid=”19″>The 2020 Social Security and Medicare trustees report, which was published last week, showed that Social Security could pay full scheduled benefits until 2035, and that the Medicare’s Hospital Insurance Trust Fund would be depleted earlier, in 2026.

The report crucially did not reflect the effects of the current coronavirus crisis.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="An analysis from the Bipartisan Policy Center – which manages the Funding our Future campaign – estimates that economic effects from the virus could begin to deplete the program as early as “this decade.”” data-reactid=”21″>An analysis from the Bipartisan Policy Center – which manages the Funding our Future campaign – estimates that economic effects from the virus could begin to deplete the program as early as “this decade.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Another analysis, from the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, says that the pandemic could lead to insolvency in the program “several years earlier than projected.”” data-reactid=”22″>Another analysis, from the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, says that the pandemic could lead to insolvency in the program “several years earlier than projected.”

The Medicare Trust fund is scheduled to run out sooner, but “it is really difficult at this point to understand exactly how the crisis is going to play out” for the program, Romig said. We just “know that finances are going to be worse over the short term” for both programs.

NEW YORK, UNITED STATES - APRIL 16, 2020: A Social Security Administration office in Astoria Queens is pictured closed amid the COVID-19 pandemic in New York City.- PHOTOGRAPH BY Ron Adar / Echoes Wire/ Barcroft Studios / Future Publishing (Photo credit should read Ron Adar / Echoes Wire/Barcroft Media via Getty Images)NEW YORK, UNITED STATES - APRIL 16, 2020: A Social Security Administration office in Astoria Queens is pictured closed amid the COVID-19 pandemic in New York City.- PHOTOGRAPH BY Ron Adar / Echoes Wire/ Barcroft Studios / Future Publishing (Photo credit should read Ron Adar / Echoes Wire/Barcroft Media via Getty Images)
APRIL 16, 2020: A Social Security Administration office in Astoria Queens is pictured closed amid the COVID-19 pandemic in New York City.- PHOTOGRAPH BY Ron Adar / Echoes Wire/ Barcroft Studios / Future Publishing

<h2 class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="A range of possible answers” data-reactid=”35″>A range of possible answers

Social Security is primarily funded through payroll taxes and the solution to the shortfall will likely come down to some combination of either higher payroll tax contributions or a reduction in benefits.

Romig says the former option – higher taxes – is the most likely. “Increasing those contributions to the system are inevitably going to be part of this,” she said. “Taxes are going to have to be on the table and that’s difficult for many members of Congress.”

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="One proposal in Congress, from before the crisis hit, would establish bipartisan commissions tasked with preventing insolvency for each of the major endangered federal trust funds.&nbsp;” data-reactid=”38″>One proposal in Congress, from before the crisis hit, would establish bipartisan commissions tasked with preventing insolvency for each of the major endangered federal trust funds. 

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Another plan, backed by many Democrats, would add payroll taxes for wages above $400,000 and increase them for everyone through a gradual increase in the contribution rate. The plan, called Social Security 2100, would also include benefit expansions.” data-reactid=”39″>Another plan, backed by many Democrats, would add payroll taxes for wages above $400,000 and increase them for everyone through a gradual increase in the contribution rate. The plan, called Social Security 2100, would also include benefit expansions.

“We can definitely come up with that,” said Romig of solving the upcoming shortfall one way or another. The question as always is when Congress will be able to act.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Ben Werschkul is a producer for Yahoo Finance in Washington, DC.” data-reactid=”41″>Ben Werschkul is a producer for Yahoo Finance in Washington, DC.

Read more:

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Coronavirus could deplete Social Security as early as ‘this decade’: analysis” data-reactid=”43″>Coronavirus could deplete Social Security as early as ‘this decade’: analysis

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Congress might finally address the ‘imminent danger’ facing Social Security” data-reactid=”44″>Congress might finally address the ‘imminent danger’ facing Social Security

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Coronavirus crisis has exposed ‘raw underbelly’ issues in economy: expert” data-reactid=”45″>Coronavirus crisis has exposed ‘raw underbelly’ issues in economy: expert

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Read the latest financial and business news from Yahoo Finance” data-reactid=”46″>Read the latest financial and business news from Yahoo Finance

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Follow Yahoo Finance on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Flipboard, LinkedIn, YouTube, and reddit.” data-reactid=”47″>Follow Yahoo Finance on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Flipboard, LinkedIn, YouTube, and reddit.