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. T. H.

    Social Security has let those of us down who worked for state schools or universities or state jobs of any capacity. The WEP Offset takes 50% of our already earned social security benefits away and has for years and years. It owes some of us over $100,000 and counting. Until there is a repeal of this Offset, it is a disgrace to say that it takes care of women. About 2 million many women including office workers, teachers,firemen, policeman are affected by this ‘Offset’ by having 50% of our earned benefits taken from us every month. We paid into FICA for 30-40 years and yet when we retired had a 50% reduction in our earned SS benefits. I do not have a lot to say about Social Security except that the trust fund needs to be left alone so that it can pay the benefits it owes the people who paid into FICA, this money, our money that contributed to make up the social security ‘trust fund’. Its time to take responsibility for this travesty and repeal the law the WEP which stands for the Windfall Elimination Provision.

  2. P. L.

    I have one thing to say. Social Security may taut women, but UNTIL Social Security recognizes the WEP Offset that penalizes mostly ‘women’ who worked under Social Security and also jobs that did not deduct SS payments such as state jobs, then you can advertise ‘Rosie the Riveter as she contributes to FICA. We all contributed for 15-20 years, but were penalized by having 50% of our earned benefits taken from us when we retired due to the Windfall Elimination Provision Offset. So, put your money where your mouth is, and start giving us back our earned benefits and stop advertising as if Social Security was so wonderful. It isn’t when you steal 50% of our SS benefits.

    • Tom

      Please allow me to provide a middle school civics lesson: any federal agency does not write the law. SSA does not create legislation. Those people who lie to you about what they are doing in DC that you vote back in every 2-6 years are the ones who make the laws that make the policies. You get what you vote for. But since they want you to believe that the agencies are the problem, you of course follow along without question. You can look online and SSA will provide the legislation that authorized the policy in their policy manual.

  3. Bernard C.

    so gender is important… both male and female… but does not separate?

  4. Andrew M.

    Yes I do remember all of those days because my Mother was a Rose the Riveter working women who to my knowledge was ever paid out any retirement Benefits and her name was proudly named is Julia Watson Mizell my Rose Riveter. This is a very true Family story that I hired told to me over and over at some family reunions in loving memory her Son Andrew.

  5. Sharon B.

    see this link -review page 20 Average Monthly Income by Sex, December 2016 – based on a Women’s own work record. See how much less income than a man!

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    • Susan

      Por supesto!

  8. Eddie L.

    It shows that American can change. It help American grow stronger, showing that a American woman could do a job and help win the War. Like the old saying behind every man there’s a greater woman.

  9. Eugenia M.

    I tried setting up an account and a message comes up you I can not set up the account with the information provided and to contact the office. But no phone number is given

    • AKA


      • Ray F.

        If you are having trouble accessing your my Social Security account, please call our dedicated “My Social Security Hot-line”. Call 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778), Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. At the voice prompt, say “helpdesk”; or contact your local Social Security office.

    • Ray F.

      Hello Eugenia, if you are still having trouble accessing your my Social Security account, please call our dedicated “My Social Security Hotline”.Call 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778), Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. At the voice prompt, say “helpdesk”; or contact your local Social Security office. Thanks!

  10. Mary

    Ohhh this is very interesting!

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