Building an Economy that Works for Everyone

Chart of the week: Social Security works for seniors

Social Security is the bedrock of economic security of millions of Americans. It represents the best of American values — lending a helping hand when a family breadwinner passes away, ensuring disabled Americans are able to live with dignity, and providing economic stability to millions of American retirees. And with the recent economic crisis, Social Security is more important now than ever.

Traditional pensions have all but disappeared in the private sector. Americans have watched their assets evaporate, whether in 401(k) plans, savings or home equity, and half of the workforce has no retirement plan other than Social Security. The importance of Social Security benefits to 80% of American seniors is indisputable – just take a look at this week’s chart.

Income ranges: bottom 20% – under $12,082; next 20% – $12,082 to $19,877; middle 20% – $19,877 to $31,303; next 20% – $31,303 to $55,889; top 20% – over $55,889.
Source: Social Security Administration, Income of the Population 55 or Older, 2008

Social Security is the principle source of replacement income for 60% of the population over 65, and is a critical support to the next 20%. It provides 64% of income to middle-income senior households, and is the exclusive source of income for 30% of unmarried seniors. Social Security is also an economic driver of our economy, providing benefits to over 1 million Washington residents — which are pumped directly back into our local economy.

Social Security works for millions of Americans. Learn more about Social Security from EOI:

The Straight Facts on Social Security – August 2010 (PDF)

Key Facts from the 2010 Report of the Social Security Trustees (PDF)

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