Social Security benefits & facts


It’s easy to take Social Security for granted when retirement is years away, but with 94% of the U.S. workforce covered by Social Security,* it’s likely that this program will paly a role in your financial future.

Below are some facts and statistics from the Social Security Administration* that highlight why Social Security is important to so many people.

Retirement benefits
The Social Security program began in 1935 as a way to protect individuals against economic hardship. Over the years, Social Security has grown to include several other types of benefits, but Social Security is still synonymous with retirement.

  • Approximately 70% of Social Security benefits are paid to retirees and their dependents
  • 73% of workers elect to receive reduced benefits early, before their full retirement age
  • The average monthly retirement benefit is $1,262
  • The maximum monthly retirement benefit payable in 2014 is $2,642 for someone retiring at full retirement age

Survivor’s benefits
Upon your death, your surviving spouse, ex-spouse, children or dependent parents may be eligible to receive benefits based on your earnings record. These benefits can be a valuable source of income when your family needs it most.

  • Survivors of deceased workers account for about 11% of Social Security benefits paid
  • About 98% of persons aged 20 to 49 have survivor’s protection for their children under 18 and for their surviving spouse who cares for those children
  • The average monthly family benefit is approximately $2,561 for a widowed mother or father and two children 

Disability benefits
Disability benefits from Social Security can help protect you and family members that rely on you for financial support in the event that you are unable to work due to sickness or injury.

  • Disabled workers and their dependents account for 19% of Social Security benefits paid
  • Approximately 90% of workers age 21 to 64 and their families are protected against long-term disability
  • The average age of a worker receiving disability benefits is 53.2 years.
  • The average monthly benefit for a disabled worker is $1,130

Other facts

  • 55% of adult Social Security beneficiaries are women
  • More than 3.4 million children under age 18 and students age 18 to 19 receive Social Security benefits
  • Social Security provides at least half of total retirement income for 74% of unmarried beneficiaries age 65 or older

*Source for statistics:

Prepared by Broadridge Investor Communication Solutions, Inc. Copyright 2016.

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