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. Berta

  2. Donna G.

    I wrote a paper in college about Rosie the riveter. As a matter of fact , it was a power point of the history of the services that these women provided for America and their men at war. In the presentation, I added Rosie the riveter with her arm making a muscle picture in the presentation. It made a pretty good example . Even though I was only a child at that time in history . My Daddy served in Germany after the war for the clean up that is done afterwards .

  3. Nathaniel E.

    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” ?

  4. Kathleen W.

    Rosie symbolizes all working women. Social Security should not be handed out to those who have not contributed unless they are receiving their husband’s benefit.

  5. Tim L.

    Since 60% of those receiving SS are women, it seems to me privatizing the program would hurt and discriminate against women! Is this the case politicians are making to privatize S.S.?

  6. Pamela P.

    Nicely done post. I believe in a publically managed social security system as a stabalizing factor for our society. The stock market is prone to drops and uncertainty that are not a guarantee. If we undermine our current system to save the government money we are kicking the can to a day when an epidemic of unprepared retirees are firced to seek food and shelter from local government and charities. At what savings would we sacrafice knowing every working American can eat and live a modest life upon retirement? This is a working women’s issue as we live longer and often less prosperous lives since we are paid less than our male counterparts (same education/experience). All Americans have difficulty saving due ti rising costs if living. Women work hard. We also vote. And, we have a voice! Thank you for listening.

  7. Liz (.

    excellent reading material for those who want to know…

  8. Bill D.

    When does the new medicare card come out without your social security number? thanks

  9. Mary S.

    The strength these women to step it up because they had to. They were given the opportunity to help their country and they did. This poster is fantastic and says it all.

  10. MrTakaphan T.

    My start pay my retirement benefit on 2018 after my birthday 03/28/1954 , or 03/28/2018 , send to my address Thailand , order on 03/30/2018!

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