Wharton Pension Research Council Working Papers

Document Type

Working Paper

Date of this Version



American workers have demonstrated relatively low levels of knowledge of how Social Security works. Most claim benefits at age 62, far earlier than many experts believe is optimal. Early claiming has a particularly negative impact on women. A significant proportion of workers use professional financial advisors and most workers participate in a defined contribution plan. Through a survey and in-depth interviews information was collected on how advisors and plan providers counsel clients and participants on Social Security. The results indicate steps that could increase the effectiveness of these channels to provide effective education and advice on Social Security and claiming.


The published version of this Working Paper may be found in the 2013 publication: The Market for Retirement Financial Advice.

Working Paper Number


Copyright/Permission Statement

All findings, interpretations, and conclusions of this paper represent the views of the authors and not those of the Wharton School or the Pension Research Council. © 2012 Pension Research Council of the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. All rights reserved.

Included in

Economics Commons



Date Posted: 28 June 2019