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May 17, 2002

Social Security Online

American Savinngs Education Council (ASEC)
Jim Courtney, Press Officer
410-965-8904 FAX 410-966-9973
Variny Paladino, ASEC


News Release

The Social Security Administration and
the American Savings Education Council Announce
National "Save for Your Future" Campaign

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 should."

"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 ( where people can calculate their estimated retirement benefit. By clicking on the Retirement Income Estimator, people can link to ASEC's Ballpark Estimate worksheet ( 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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SSA Press Office 449 Altmeyer Bldg. 6401 Security Blvd. Baltimore, MD 21235
410-965-8904 FAX 410-966-9973

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