Research & Analysis by Lois A. Vitt

Where Is Information About Social Security Retirement Benefits Provided to the Public? An Initial Assessment
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 82, No. 1 (released February 2022)
by Lois A. Vitt and Barbara A. Smith

Research has documented how knowledgeable Americans are about certain aspects of Social Security programs and benefits. As a result, researchers have identified information gaps in both the types of knowledge that individuals optimally should have and the demographic groups who would most benefit from informational outreach. However, research has not investigated the settings in which Social Security information is or could be provided to the public by sources other than the Social Security Administration. This article explores the presence and extent of Social Security information provided to employees in workplaces, servicemembers in military facilities, students in secondary and postsecondary schools, and participants in religious and community organization settings. The authors visited seminars and classes; interviewed trainers and educators; and reviewed textbooks, other publications, and Internet content to assess where this important information is—or could be—provided to the public.