US: Mixed-Methods Study to Understand Public Use of Social Security's Online Platform

Submitted by pmassetti on Thu, 11/23/2023 - 15:26
Body (Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 83 No. 4, 2023) Since 2012, the Social Security Administration has offered online my Social Security accounts to provide a key informational resource to the public. Yet the number of my Social Security accountholders remains lower than the agency had hoped for. We conducted a mixed-methods study involving quantitative analysis of survey data and qualitative analysis of personal interviews to examine potential barriers to my Social Security access and to evaluate account users' experiences. The quantitative analysis shows that lower levels of internet literacy and educational attainment are barriers to accountholding and use. Our qualitative findings suggest that my Social Security can be useful in retirement planning, especially for younger adults, by filling knowledge gaps and correcting mistaken expectations. Further research can address ways to minimize or eliminate barriers to my Social Security access and use, and explore how to maximize its effectiveness in supporting retirement readiness and Social Security literacy.

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