Social Security Is Important to Hispanics

April 2014 (Printer Friendly Version)

Social Security is neutral with respect to race or ethnicity – individuals with identical earnings histories are treated the same in terms of benefits.  This Fact Sheet is provided by the Social Security Administration to highlight how Hispanics benefit from the Social Security program and how certain demographic characteristics of Hispanics compare with the entire population.

  • The Social Security system is progressive in that lower-wage earners receive a higher percentage benefit than higher-wage earners do. The system returns a greater percentage of pre-retirement earnings to a lower-wage worker than to a higher-wage worker. Hispanics who are low-wage workers receive back more benefits in relation to past earnings than do high-wage earners.
    • In 2012, the median earnings of working-age Hispanics who worked full-time, year-round were about $30,000 compared to $42,500 for all working-age people.

  • Hispanics benefit from the guaranteed benefit that is annually adjusted for inflation. With longer life expectancies, elderly Hispanics will live more years in retirement and benefit from Social Security's cost-of-living protections.
    • Hispanics tend to have higher life expectancies at age 65 than the majority of the population.

  • In 2012, the average annual Social Security income received by Hispanic men 65 years and older was $13,295, and for women it was $10,500.

  • In 2012, among Hispanics receiving Social Security, 40 percent of elderly married couples and 62 percent of elderly unmarried persons relied on Social Security for 90 percent or more of their income.

The Hispanic population in the U.S. is expected to grow. Today, 16.9 percent of the population is of Hispanic origin. This proportion is expected to grow to 30.2 percent by 2050.

Our website at www.socialsecurity.gov/hispanics contains more information of interest to Hispanics.

This fact sheet is designed to provide general information and may not apply to all individuals within each segment of the Hispanic population.