General, Online Services, Retirement

Private Retirement Benefits and Social Security Working Together

March 31, 2016 • By

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Last Updated: August 19, 2021

On August 14, 1935, President Franklin Roosevelt said, “We can never insure 100 percent of the population against 100 percent of the hazards and vicissitudes of life, but we have tried to frame a law which will give some measure of protection to the average citizen and to his family against the loss of a job and against poverty-stricken old age.

Nearly 81 years later, Social Security provides the foundation for retiring Americans that President Roosevelt imagined when he signed the program into law. The latest figures report that nearly 59 million Americans were receiving retirement, disability or survivors’ benefits from Social Security. Each year, nearly 15 million elderly Americans are lifted out of poverty by Social Security, proving that the program is indeed a crucial part of a secure retirement.

While Social Security provides a strong foundation for workers, the private retirement system also plays a key role in ensuring the economic well-being of retired Americans. Over 115 million workers receive retirement benefits through plans provided by their employers. In addition, the number of retirees receiving income from private retirement plans continues to increase.

On February 5, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce held a retirement forum focused on the success of employer-provided retirement systems. Panelists and speakers offered guidelines to help support the voluntary employment-based retirement benefits system and identified ways to encourage innovation and flexibility in the private retirement system. In addition, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce also released a white paper at the event entitled, “Private Retirement Benefits in the 21st Century: Achieving Retirement Security,” which recommends a series of steps to further bolster the private retirement system.

The true success story, however, is the combination of Social Security and employer-provided retirement benefits.‎ Working hand in hand, the private retirement system and Social Security can ensure that millions of Americans keep receiving the stable and secure income that they deserve.

To educate companies on the benefits of this partnership, the Chamber and the Social Security Administration are co-sponsoring‎ a conference, entitled “Promoting Retirement Security Makes Good Business Sense” on April 5, 2016 at 8:45 ET. The discussion will center on promoting the partnership between the Social Security and the business community to support a secure retirement for workers. We will also discuss how the current Social Security retirement program can supplement employer-provided retirement savings. I encourage you to tune in to the live webcast at US Chamber Live Webcast.

Have a question you would like to see answered on the day of the event? Post your question to @SSAOutreach using the hashtag #RETSCC and watch the live webcast to see if your question was chosen on the day of the event.

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About the Author

Randy Johnson, Senior Vice President, Labor, Immigration, & Employee Benefits, U.S. Chamber of Commerce

Randy Johnson, Senior Vice President, Labor, Immigration, & Employee Benefits, U.S. Chamber of Commerce


  1. Betpas

    How is a pension from the State and Social Security from the Feds double dipping?? The money comes from 2 separate places.

  2. empflix

    The Windfall Elimination Provision allows the Social Security Administration to reduce the amount of Social Security retirement benefits you’re eligible to receive if you worked both for a public-sector employer and in the private sector at different points during your career. Specifically, if your public-sector employment involved earning wages that weren’t subject to Social Security payroll taxes and also resulted in your earning a public pension, then the Windfall Elimination Provision acts to avoid your getting what the government would call an unfair windfall.

  3. clarence j.

    How many hours weekly can you work while receiving ssi

    • Ann C.

      Hi, Clarence. The amount of your Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefit, is based, in part, on the income available to you. Whether you are receiving Social Security or SSI, it is important to let us know promptly when you start or stop working, or if any other change occurs that could affect your benefits. You can find more information about working temporarily without losing monthly Social Security disability or SSI benefits by reading our publication, “Working while Disabled- How We Can Help.” We hope this helps.

  4. Husamettin .

  5. Roger F.

    win fall , on my ssb

  6. Fran F.

    If 85 percent of my social security is taxable how do I account for it on my federal income tax return?

    • Vonda V.

      Hi Fran, thank you for using our blog to ask your question. Social Security mails the SSA-1099 each year in January to people who receive Social Security benefits. It shows the total amount of benefits you received from Social Security in the previous year so you know how much Social Security income to report to IRS on your tax return.

      Check out our Benefits Planner: Income Taxes and Your Social Security Benefit for details.

  7. Keith H.

    I receive $700 per month from my 401k account and will receive ssa benefits in Feburary 2019. Is this amount included in the $17,040 I am allow to earn before ssa benefits are reduced?

  8. Burt

    Will my Ford pension fund affect my social security benefits

    • Vonda V.

      Thank you for the question, Burt. Pension payments, annuities, and the interest or dividends from your savings and investments are not earnings for Social Security purposes. Only earned income, your wages or net income from self-employment, is covered by Social Security.

  9. Tina

    What are social security benefits based on? If I have another source of income, too, like another job, does it impact the amount of money I get from social security?

  10. David L.

    I am covered by my wife’s employer’s medical insurance and wish to stop Part B coverage. How do I go about signing out of part b and stop the $134 a month deduction?

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