Jo Anne Barnhart, Commissioner of Social Security, and Dallas L.
Salisbury, chairman of the American Savings Education Council (ASEC),
today announced plans to enhance national education efforts on the
importance of saving. The Social Security Administration (SSA) and
ASEC will combine their efforts through the national "Save
for Your Future" campaign, which will begin in spring 2003.
"Social Security is the foundation of a secure retirement,"
said Commissioner Barnhart. "Social Security was and is meant
to be only part of a three-legged financial stool, along with pensions
and personal savings. Unfortunately, only half of today's retirees
have a private pension. And too few Americans save as much as they
"We have made significant progress in building awareness among
Washington, DC-area residents since launching the Choose to Save©
program in 1998," said Dallas Salisbury. "We have built
a strong base of awareness in the community, and we will concentrate
our efforts on providing the hands-on savings and planning tips
that help consumers prepare for financial security and retirement.
The elements of this education program are ready to make this educational
partnership successful nationally."
Barnhart and Salisbury noted that:
"Most financial planners say a person needs between 70% 80%
of his or her pre-retirement income to live comfortably in retirement.
But for the average worker, Social Security replaces only about
40% of pre-retirement income. The balance must come from pensions
and personal savings.
"The EBRI-ASEC 2002 Retirement Confidence Survey reveals that
68% of American workers have not tried to calculate how much money
they will need to save for a comfortable retirement. Yet, 45% of
those who have done a calculation have made changes in their retirement
planning as a result.
"SSA could not have a better partner in helping spread the
message of savings than ASEC," said Commissioner Barnhart.
"Each day, ASEC offers savings tips and planning advice to
help citizens save and prepare for a secure retirement. During 'Save
for Your Future' month, we will combine our efforts to make sure
that the savings message is delivered throughout the country."
SSA's partnership with ASEC is just one of SSA's initiatives to
educate workers about the importance of financial planning. Each
year, SSA mails the Social Security Statement to all workers age
25 and older. The Statement provides customized benefit estimates
and earnings information to individuals who are not receiving benefits.
SSA also offers an online Benefits Planner (www.ssa.gov/planners/calculators.htm)
where people can calculate their estimated retirement benefit. By
clicking on the Retirement Income Estimator, people can link to
ASEC's Ballpark Estimate worksheet (http://www.asec.org/ballpark/).
The Ballpark Estimate worksheet enables individuals to combine their
estimate of future Social Security benefits with estimates of income
from pensions and savings to determine if they are saving enough
for a secure retirement.
NOTE TO CORRESPONDENTS: For more information about ASEC, call Variny
Paladino at (202) 775-6321 or Jim Jaffe at (202) 775-6353.
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Online, at http://www.socialsecurity.gov.
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SSA Press Office 449
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