General, Retirement

Rosie The Riveter: Working Women’s Icon

March 29, 2018 • By

Reading Time: 2 Minutes

Last Updated: August 19, 2021

rosie the riveter “Rosie the Riveter” is an American icon representing women working in factories during World War II. These women learned new jobs and filled in for the men who were away at war. They produced much of the armaments and ammunition to supply the war effort.

They also paid FICA on their wages, contributing to the Social Security program. These “Rosies” embodied the “can-do” spirit immortalized in a poster by J. Howard Miller. Both the image and the spirit live on today.

If you asked Rosie about Social Security, she would use her rivet gun to drive home the value of Social Security for women. More Rosies work today, and nearly 60 percent of people receiving benefits are women. Women tend to live longer than men, so Social Security’s inflation-adjusted benefits help protect women. You can outlive your savings and investments, but Social Security is for life. Women provide their own basic level of protection when they work and pay taxes into the Social Security system. Women who have been married and had low earnings or who didn’t work may be covered through their spouses’ work.

Today’s Rosie will turn her “can-do” spirit to learning more about Social Security and what role it will play in her financial plan for the future. She focuses on our pamphlet called What Every Woman Should Know for a game plan.

She rolls up her sleeves and sets up her my Social Security account to review her earnings and estimates. If she finds an incorrect posting, she’ll locate her W-2 form and quickly contact Social Security to correct it because she understands these are the earnings used to figure her benefits.

She dives into understanding benefits at our planner pages. She examines how marriage, divorce, death of a spouse, work, and other issues might affect her benefits. She studies our fact sheet When to Start Receiving Retirement Benefits to help her decide when it’s time to lay down the rivet gun. And when the time is right, she will file for retirement benefits online. Whether it was keeping the war effort production lines humming or discovering what is available to her from Social Security, Rosie symbolizes the motto: “We Can Do It.” Rosie and millions like her rely on the financial protection provided by Social Security in assembling their own financial futures.

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About the Author

Jim Borland, Acting Deputy Commissioner for Communications

Jim Borland, Acting Deputy Commissioner for Communications


  1. Janeth Z.

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  2. Edwardo A.

    I’ve recently started a site, the information you offer on this website has helped me tremendously. Thanks for all of your time & work.

    • Ray F.

      Thanks for your feedback, Edwardo! We’re pleased we can help.

  3. Phyllis

    It’s really says something when the social security administration penalized my spouse and myself because we are married I don’t receive my full benefits . why? That’s just wrong and we still can’t make it with the little we receive? There is a big recession and it only gets worse!

  4. John A.

    I assume you know that the picture you have is not the original Rosie The Riveter. Norman Rockwell painted the original and it was on the cover of The Saturday Evening Post for the May 29, 1943 issue. Not near as attractive as the one you have posted, and the one you posted has been popularized, but it’s not the original.

  5. Nathaniel E.

    To Ray Fernandez, Public Affairs Specialist I have two questions. Social Security Administration has a checklist for online Medicare, Retirement, and Spouses Applications. On the right hand side of the checklist the topic MEDICAID (State Health Insurance) What is meant by “number and start and end dates” ? Also the topic Current Health Insurance what is meant by “Employment start and end dates for the current employer who provides your health insurance coverage through a group health plan” ?

  6. Janet S.

    Why was the day changed when social security earned income (retirement) checks used to arrive the 3rd day of the month? I had read in news media that mailboxes were being vandalized & mailmen robbed with threats of violence. It is wise that Robert @ Social Security office warned us to have them sent to our bank account electronically because of the tech scammers & thieves. I once responded to an elderly passerby screaming while with her grandson (3rd day of the month). Thief grabbed her purse; she had just cashed $300 on social security. Police spent a long time here when they came. I took one to the wall where the criminal had jumped over. They retrieved her purse empty but no apprehending of criminal. Lady called her relative to come get them from our place.

  7. Anna

    I absolutely adore posts ! They’re so inspirational!

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