Generation Xers may need to save an extra $27,000 to $79,000 for retirement if possible reductions to Social Security come true, Employee Benefit Research Institute Research Director Jack VanDerhei said Tuesday.

VanDerhei said the extra savings numbers are based on projections of a roughly one-fourth reduction in Social Security payments to Gen X retirees if the system’s trust fund goes to zero, as some believe it may.

The extra $27,000 is the additional amount GenX married couples born between 1965 and 1978 would need to have savied when they reach 65 to stay even if the reductions happen. The higher number is for single females the same age. A single male would need to save an additional $43,000.

Single females need to accumulate more because they generally have higher life expectancies and have saved less than the average male.

About 83 percent of GenXers are worried that Social Security won’t be around for them, VanDerhei noted.

Gen Xers will start becoming eligible for full benefits at age 67 in the year 2032, just one year before the Social Security trust fund may be depleted, say some observers.

About half as many GenXers expect Social Security will be their primary source of retirement income than their parents (19 percent versus 36 percent), according to a report last year by the Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies.