Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senators Susan Collins (R-ME), Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-LA), Tim Kaine (D-VA), and Chris Coons (D-DE), introduced legislation to help Americans better plan for retirement and enhance retirement security by ensuring they have the information they need to make more informed decisions regarding when to claim Social Security Benefits. This is particularly important today, as Americans are living longer than ever, and rising health care costs often lead to unexpected expenses that can drain savings.
“Ensuring that more people are better prepared financially for retirement has consistently been one of my priorities,” said Senator Collins. “Our bipartisan legislation would help improve retirement security by providing more details and transparent information to enable hardworking Americans to better plan for retirement and make decisions about when to claim the Social Security benefits they have earned.”
“Americans have earned their Social Security and should have the best financial information available when they retire,” said Dr. Cassidy. “Our bill ensures Americans planning for retirement get the most out of their benefit.”
“The retirement timeline that’s right for one Virginian could look very different from the perfect plan for another,” said Senator Kaine. “That’s why it couldn’t be more important that the information families need to make the decisions that are best for them is accessible and clear. This bipartisan bill would help us make strides in increasing access to that critical information, and I will continue to push the Social Security Administration to find other ways to make it easier for Americans to make informed decisions about their financial futures.”
“As American workers prepare for retirement, it’s crucial that they have as much information as possible to ensure they can maximize the social security benefits that they’ve earned. Through simple language changes, we can make it easier for countless Americans to claim social security at the best time and get the most out of their retirement income. Bipartisan legislation that improves social security is possible, and I encourage the Senate to take up and swiftly pass this commonsense bill,” said Senator Coons.
One of the key financial decisions facing older Americans is when to claim Social Security retirement benefits. Social Security retired worker benefits are available to Americans who are as young as age 62, but those who choose to claim their benefits later receive higher monthly payments, with the maximum benefits available to those who claim at age 70 or older.
To provide additional clarity for Americans deciding when to claim their benefits, this legislation changes the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) terminology from “early eligibility age,” “full retirement age,” and “delayed retirement credits” to “minimum benefit age,” “standard benefit age,” and “maximum benefit age” to better reflect Social Security’s claiming design and how the program works.
The legislation would also help Americans better plan for retirement by requiring the SSA to mail social security statements—which detail how much a person has paid into Social Security and Medicare—every five years to individuals with Social Security accounts between the ages of 25 and 54, every two years for those between the ages of 55 and 59, and annually for those 60 and above.
Collins, Cassidy, Kaine, and Coons also sent a letter to SSA urging them to develop an action plan to help individuals make more informed claiming decisions.
“[W]e believe SSA should take more proactive measures to provide Americans with the tools and resources to determine how best to set themselves and their families up for financial security in retirement,” wrote the senators.
Read the full letter HERE.