Understanding the complexities of social security, benefits, claims, and compensation availability can be an overwhelming task, especially for senior employees preparing for retirement.
This guide will help you de-mystify these complexities, providing you and your management team with key insights to help your workforce navigate the maze of social security and figure out benefit claims. After all, while there is a clear link between long-term financial stability and these entitlements, a growing number of near-retirees are still missing out on their compensation. Find out all you need to know below.
Social Security: An Overview
Social Security serves as a financial bedrock for a significant number of U.S. residents. Data suggests that in February 2023, approximately 66 million people, or 1 in 5 U.S. residents, received these benefits. Though predominantly accessed by seniors, a fraction of the beneficiaries are those receiving Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI).
Currently, this government program is providing financial security to American citizens who are retired, disabled, or have lost a working family member. For many senior employees, this is the primary source of income in their retirement years. Today, access to SS benefits is based on a credit system, which reflects the years of work and contributions to the Social Security fund throughout a person’s career.
Common Areas of Confusion
As a company promoting the presence of multiple generations in the workforce, it is crucial to understand how to support each member of the team. When it comes down to assisting senior employees understand and access their rightful Social Security benefits, it is important to start by highlighting what the main areas of confusion are:
The "right" age to retire. While benefits can start from the age of 62, full benefits are only available from "full retirement age" which varies depending on the year of birth.
The influence of continued employment. Many seniors wrongfully believe they cannot work and receive benefits simultaneously, while in reality, post-retirement earnings can potentially increase future benefits.
The taxation of Social Security benefits. Depending on the total income and tax filing status, employees might owe taxes on part of their Social Security benefits.
Spousal Benefits. Many are unaware that a person can receive benefits based on either their own employment record or their spouse's, opting for whichever will pay the highest amount.
3 Ways To Help Your Senior Employees Navigate Benefits, Claims, and Compensation
Once you have a clearer idea of what areas your senior employees need help with, it is time to move on to action. The strategies below can help you provide them with the peace of mind they deserve to enjoy a smooth, stable transition to retirement.
Make Available Reliable Resources
One of the first steps to take is to make clear, reliable, and easy-to-understand resources readily available to your senior employees. While the number of older adults who are tech-savvy is increasing, not everyone will have the same access to resources. Whether they are looking to get help with an SSDI claim or trying to better understand their benefits, offering these resources can be an excellent starting point.
Provide Specialized Help Within The Workplace
Currently, the older demographics are leaving over 30 billion on the table when it comes to claiming their Social Security benefits and compensation. As a company leader, you can provide help by making available sessions with a specialized consultant, a service that can provide your senior employees with professional guidance tailored to their unique needs.
Invest in Training Courses
As you experience a generational change within your company, you may consider investing in training courses that will allow your workforce to start working toward maximizing their benefits and compensation. Partnering with an external specialized agency is perhaps the best way to ensure that the information delivered is accurate and up-to-date.
Create a Smooth Path To Retirement
Ultimately, as an employer, you have a duty of care toward your employees. While they have represented your business’ main asset during their working career, it is now time to look after their well-being as they move on toward their golden years. If you are unsure where to start or are afraid to make a mistake, working with a specialist can help you make the right choices.