The Bipartisan Policy Center applauds Sens. Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Bill Cassidy (R-LA), along with Reps. John Larson (D-CT) and Vern Buchanan (R-FL), for their new legislation that attempts to improve Americans’ understanding of the Social Security program. In recent years, the vast majority of Americans have not received annual statements in the mail detailing their projected Social Security benefits after the Social Security Administration moved towards providing this information online. Social Security’s account statements include individualized projections of benefits by retirement age, reflecting the reduced benefits that come with early claiming. The Know Your Social Security Act would require SSA to resume sending annual paper statements to everyone over the age of 25 who has not accessed online statements or otherwise opted out.
This is a positive step toward helping millions of Americans plan for their retirement and make more-informed decisions about when to claim their Social Security benefits. While Congress should be mindful in the appropriations process to ensure that SSA has sufficient funding to carry out all of its mandates, today’s bipartisan legislation is consistent with the goal of BPC’s Social Security Informed Claiming Initiative, which is identifying policy solutions that would help Americans understand the inherent tradeoffs to early claiming as well as other factors that impact their Social Security retirement benefits.