UM22-Q3: The Initial Experiences with the Redesigned Social Security Statement
In October 2021, the Social Security Administration (SSA) implemented a redesigned Social Security statement for workers being sent a statement or checking their my Social Security online accounts. Research on the prior statement has demonstrated its effect on workers’ program knowledge (Smith and Couch 2014), expectations over future benefits and planned claiming age (Armour 2020), and propensity to claim disability benefits (Armour 2018). The redesigned statement — shortened from four to two pages and with a visual display of monthly retirement benefits at each claiming age, mailed alongside additional fact sheets personally relevant to each recipients’ work situation and age — holds the promise of effectively presenting both general and personalized Social Security knowledge, even more so than the prior statement. At this point, it is thus important to assess how the public has received the redesigned communications and any impacts the statement have had on workers’ expectations and plans.