Thursday, February 5, 2009

Social Security Statement to Include Savings Leaflet for Younger Workers

For years the Social Security Administration has included a leaflet on preparing to retire with the annual Social Security benefit statements sent to older workers. A project that began while I was at Social Security is to produce a separate insert geared toward the needs of younger workers. That project is now underway:

Beginning in February 2009, workers age 25-35 who receive a Social Security Statement also will get an insert called What young workers should know about Social Security and saving. This new supplement provides additional information that pertains to young workers and includes a chart showing how much difference a little bit of saving can make.

For all workers 25 and older not yet receiving benefits, the Statement includes a person's estimated benefit for different retirement ages, and for disability and survivors benefits, as well as a person's annual earnings and amount paid into Social Security. In 2000, Social Security began including an insert with the Statement for all workers age 55 and older who were not receiving benefits. The agency recently revised the supplement, called Thinking of Retiring?, to add more information, make it more appealing visually and include a chart to show how much benefits can be worth at different ages.

I'm very happy that this is now up and running. I know from experience that putting the younger workers insert together was a lot of work. My congrats to the SSA staff who put the material together and to Commissioner Mike Astrue and Deputy Commissioner Jason Fichtner for being so pro-active. Basic retirement savings information can now be provided to every American. Given the state of financial literacy in this country, that's a very positive step.

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