Message from the Deputy Commissioner

Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 80 No. 1, 2020

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As Deputy Commissioner for Retirement and Disability Policy at the Social Security Administration (SSA), I am extremely pleased to present this special retrospective issue of the Social Security Bulletin. It highlights 10 years of key contributions and significant research findings from the Retirement Research Consortium (RRC) and the Disability Research Consortium (DRC).

SSA funded the RRC and DRC extramural research programs through cooperative agreements with the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College, the University of Michigan Retirement Research Center, the Mathematica Center for Studying Disability Policy, and the National Bureau of Economic Research's Retirement Research Center and Disability Research Center. As Deputy Commissioner, I have seen firsthand how helpful this research has been to our understanding of the effects of the laws, regulations, policies, and administration of Social Security and Supplemental Security Income. I am pleased to now share the highlights of that information with you in this special edition of the Bulletin.

The RRC and DRC partnerships have increased our research capacity. By leveraging our internal data and staff resources and partnering with outside scholarship and expertise, we have been able to investigate topics that are important to the agency, policymakers, and the public. We greatly value these partnerships and appreciate the vital contributions made by the RRC and DRC in advancing the collective understanding of Social Security retirement and disability issues and in providing research-based input to the policymaking process.

This is an opportune time to reflect on those contributions. We last published a retrospective edition of the Bulletin in 2009, when we highlighted 11 years of outstanding work by the RRC. The current retrospective picks up where that prior edition left off and focuses on the breadth of significant research from both the RRC and the DRC over the last decade. Thus, the retrospective articles that follow highlight the contributions of the centers funded through those separate RRC and DRC grants.

As we look back on these past accomplishments, we also look forward with great anticipation. In October 2018, we merged the RRC and DRC to create the Retirement and Disability Research Consortium. This new research entity provides us with the flexibility and opportunity to consider issues related to our programs more holistically, as retirement and disability research questions frequently intersect. I hope that you find the articles in this issue of the Bulletin informative. Our extramural research partnerships benefit the American people and are essential to making the programs we administer strong, effective, and efficient.

Mark J. Warshawsky
Deputy Commissioner for Retirement and Disability Policy
Social Security Administration