Introduction to Vision 2025

Vision 2025 > Introduction to Vision 2025
Vision 2025 is a critical first step in planning how we will serve our customers in the future.
We have a responsibility to define customer service in the future and work to achieve our vision through this important activity and the detailed plans that will follow. Our vision was created through discussions with employees, stakeholder organizations, and customers, who know us best and have a vested interest in our future. Together we will make Vision 2025 a reality.

The Social Security Administration was founded on simple but very deep values and principles. We are a community-based organization, and in many communities we are the front door to the federal government, through which people walk during times of need. The person-to-person conversation at the center of our service-delivery model for the past 80 years is what makes Social Security unique.

Since President Roosevelt signed the Social Security Act in 1935, our agency has served the American public with distinction, delivering critical benefits to support our customers at points of transition and loss in their lives. We are one of the largest government programs in the world, disbursing almost $1 trillion dollars in federal benefits per year – with a consistently high accuracy rate and with an administrative cost of only 1.3%.

Few government agencies touch as many lives as we do.

At Social Security, we remain true to our core principles and continue to provide critical services to those who need us most. We are committed to serving all of our customers efficiently, effectively, and compassionately, and to preserving the integrity of the Social Security programs for future generations.

Our customers reflect the full diversity of the American public in age, education, income, ethnicity, race, and ability. Our customers are 39 million retired workers who, after a lifetime of work and contribution, rely on Social Security benefits for a portion of their income. For one out of five beneficiaries aged 65 and older, Social Security benefits are their sole source of income, and for two out of three, Social Security is half or more of their total income. Our benefits help individuals and families make ends meet and provide them with independence in their elder years.

Our customers are four million children, including disabled adult children, and four million additional survivors dealing with life's most devastating losses. Our customers are nearly nine million workers who have faced a life-changing disability, leaving them unable to provide for themselves and their families. Still others are the 8.4 million elderly, blind, or individuals with disabilities, living in poverty and relying on Supplemental Security Income (SSI) to meet life's basic needs.

Our customers are Medicare beneficiaries who have either reached their senior years or become disabled. They can obtain medical treatment and services based on the contributions they have made while working, plus any necessary premiums. Our customers are our nation's current workforce, paying into Social Security in the form of taxes on their wages and income. Our customers are employers, businesses, non-profits, advocates, oversight groups, and other stakeholders who benefit from our services and provide critical support to us and to all of our customer groups.

Finally, our customers are the dedicated and talented employees who make up our workforce. Our workforce is distributed across the American landscape in our headquarters facilities, vast network of field and hearing offices, card and payment centers and in state disability determinations services (DDS). They are our greatest asset, and we must serve, engage, and support our employees to meet ever-changing customer expectations and workload demands.

We know the world is changing and we must change with it in order to continue to serve with distinction. While our founding principles and values will not change, the way we operate and serve must keep up with the times. Throughout our history, our evolution has been substantial and continuous. Over time, we have integrated new programs to support individuals with disabilities and the vulnerable.

As we look to the future, we see great challenges. Disability and retirement waves, an aging employee base, increased turnover of employees, technological advancements, fiscal constraints, and increased customer expectations present an unprecedented opportunity for bold change, innovation, and vision.


Shift

Change

Evolution

Drivers For Vision 2025

Demand for Services
As demographics shift, the population aged 65 and older will grow by more than 18 million from 2015 to 2020, and then by an additional eight million by 2030. This shift will dramatically increase the demand for our services. Additionally, demand for government-to-government and business-to-government services will continue to expand.
Potential Threats and Opportunities
Rapid advances in technology will introduce new opportunities to serve our customers, while requiring us to remain vigilant about potential security and fraud vulnerabilities. An increase in the amount of Personally Identifiable Information transmitted online has resulted in a heightened cyber risk environment for identify theft.
Evolving Technology Trends
Currently, 56% of Americans aged 65 or older use the internet and email regularly, compared to an overwhelming 83% of upcoming retirees (age 50-64). For those younger than 44, more than 80% are already using hand held and mobile devices to access the internet. By 2018, Americans will generate 241% more internet traffic than we do today.
Loss of Institutional Knowledge
By 2020, 29% of our permanent Social Security employees will be eligible to retire, and their retirement could result in various mission-critical skills gaps within the agency.
Changing Employee Expectations
Millennials and younger generations desire a creative and innovative work environment, but in a 2014 survey of federal employees, only one in three millennials felt those values were rewarded in their organization. Only 34% were satisfied with the opportunities they had for career advancement.
Complex Business Process
We must simplify Social Security policies and procedures that are creating obstacles for customers and employees and stand in the way of truly transforming our organization.
Outdated Technology
Only 20% of federal leaders believe their organizations have the processes, policies, and procedures to keep pace with digital technology. Only 32% believe their stakeholders are satisfied with the way their organization engages them digitally. Social Security's technology infrastructure and legacy systems are decades old and in need of replacement or repair.
Budget Uncertainty
Federal budgets will continue to be constrained, which will challenge us to be innovative, efficient, and effective advocates for the resources needed to deliver the Social Security services that Americans have earned and paid for.

As we move into the future, we must ensure that any changes that we make will maintain or enhance the personal connection between our customers and our employees.

Our customers expect efficient and effective programs and services from all federal agencies, and we are committed to driving cross-government efforts that best meet our customers' changing needs. Our employees will continue to provide highly personalized service, and they will be empowered by knowledge, tools, and technology to provide expert and immediate assistance. While continuing to provide face-to-face service, we will also use technology and innovations to bring our services directly to those who need us most and remove many of the barriers to access that exist today.

Vision 2025 illustrates our commitment to our mission and to securing the trust of future generations. Join us as we take a look at your experience with our agency in 2025: Proudly serving Social Security customers throughout their lifetime, when and where they need us.