The Reintroduction of the Social Security Statement and its Effect on Social Security Expectations, Retirement Savings, and Labor Supply Across the Age Distribution

Published: 2017
Project ID: UM17-05


In the 1990s, SSA began automatic mailings of a statement with personalized benefit estimates. Previous research has examined the statement’s impacts on claiming, labor supply, and savings among older Americans in the 1990s. However, little is known about the effect of information provision in more recent years or on all adults. The current informational environment has changed: SSA did not send statements between early 2011 and late 2014; additionally, 23 million Americans have an online my Social Security account. This proposal seeks to estimate the effect of the reintroduction of the statement, as well as having a my Social Security account, on benefit expectations, retirement savings, and labor supply of adult Americans. It will seek to exploit two key factors: the pattern of sending statements to individuals every fifth birthday; and the American Life Panel’s history of extensive information on SSA knowledge and outcomes just prior to the statement’s reintroduction.


Philip Armour