SSA launches online retirement estimator

The Social Security Administration has launched its online calculator for persons to calculate estimates of their potential retirement benefits in real time based on their SSA records and the user’s information, the agency has announced.

The calculator, the Retirement Estimator, links to a person’s actual Social Security earnings record, so the user does not have to manually key in years of earnings information, the agency states.

The tool is designed to assess the amount of payments for individuals at specific points, such as at full retirement age, said SSA Commissioner Michael Astrue. the tool also lets users submit various “what if” scenarios based on information they enter about future earnings and retirement dates.

“Deciding when to retire is one of the most important and difficult decisions many people face,” he said. For people nearing retirement age, the calculator provides highly accurate benefit estimates and can offer information to help younger workers plan and save for retirement, he said.

SSA is modernizing its infrastructure and services to drive more aging workers to apply for retirement benefits, find information and conduct transactions online, he said. The agency is anticipating many baby boomers to apply for retirement benefits, at the same time SSA will experience many of its employees retiring. SSA has revamped its agency site to make it easier to navigate, Astrue said.

Next, in October, SSA will unveil its revised online application for retirement benefits that should reduce the average filing time to 15 minutes from 45 minutes, he said.

The estimator only displays benefit estimates. It does not show the earnings record information on which the benefit estimate was calculated or other personally identifiable information, Astrue added.

About the Author

Mary Mosquera is a reporter for Federal Computer Week.

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