Social Security: Encourage Young Workers to Check Their Benefits

by Kathy Stokes, communications consultant and director of the American Savings Education Council (ASEC)

Social Security benefits in retirement play a pivotal role in the financial security of millions of Americans. It may replace about 40% of preretirement income for the average worker. Yet workers age 45 and younger aren’t counting on it.

Analysis of the 25th Retirement Confidence Survey from the nonpartisan Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI) shows that twice as many younger workers (26%) expect Social Security not to be part of their retirement income as older workers (13%).

Younger men (29%) are more likely than younger women (21%) to say Social Security won’t be an income source in retirement. Interestingly, 41% of nonbelievers have talked with a financial advisor about retirement planning, suggesting there are advisors out there who are discounting Social Security, too.

It turns out that estimating Social Security benefits matters here. Younger workers who have estimated their Social Security benefits are more likely to believe it will be a source of income in retirement (28%) than those who haven’t estimated their benefits (20%).

Encourage younger workers in your world to factor in Social Security as a retirement income source.  It’s easy to do – anyone can create a free personalized benefits estimate at www.socialsecurity.gov/myaccount. So far, more than 19 million Americans have created online Social Security accounts.

The American Savings Education Council (ASEC) is a national coalition of private and public sector institutions committed to making retirement planning and saving a priority for all Americans. ASEC is a program of the EBRI Education and Research Fund.

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