A bipartisan group of senators introduced legislation that aims to help Americans make more informed decisions about when to claim Social Security benefits, as many retirees are losing out on income by claiming benefits too early, the senators said.
The proposed legislation directs the Social Security Administration to change the language it uses to describe when Americans can claim their benefits and calls for increasing the frequency of mailing Social Security statements.
Sens. Chris Coons, D-Del., Bill Cassidy, R-La., Tim Kaine D-Va., and Susan Collins, R-Maine, introduced the legislation Monday and sent a letter to the Social Security Administration, dated March 2, calling for the agency to "develop an action plan" to better inform retirees about when to claim benefits.
"As American workers prepare for retirement, it's crucial that they have as much information as possible to ensure they can maximize the Social Security benefits that they've earned," Mr. Coons said in a news release. "Through simple language changes, we can make it easier for countless Americans to claim Social Security at the best time and get the most out of their retirement income."
The senators specifically call for the Social Security Administration to change its terminology around claiming benefits. Currently, age 62 is called "early eligibility age," which the senators would change to "minimum benefit age." Ages 66-67, which are referred to as "full retirement age," would be changed to "standard benefit age." Finally, the legislation would do away with the term "delayed retirement credits," and refer to age 70 as the "maximum benefit age."
The legislation would also require Social Security statements to be mailed every five years to those ages 25 to 54, every two years to those ages 55 to 59, and every year to those 60 and older. In addition, paper statements would be sent whenever someone enters the workforce or starts a new job. The statements would be mailed regardless of whether someone has created an online Social Security account, and individuals would be able to opt out, according to the bill text.
"Americans have earned their Social Security and should have the best financial information available when they retire," Mr. Cassidy said in the news release. "Our bill ensures Americans planning for retirement get the most out of their benefit."