June 17, 2014 Social Security Closes Offices as First Baby Boomers Retire Social Security has chosen to close several offices, more offices than in any 5 year span in its history, just as the largest American generational cohort are coming online to receive benefits. To add insult to injury, they are reducing hours in the field offices that are still open. Some highlights from this article include:
Hours have been reduced in the 1,245 field offices that are still open, the report said. Wait times on the phone have increased, too — for those who get through. This year, the agency projects that 14 percent of callers to a toll-free help line will get a busy signal. Those who get through wait on hold for an average of 17 minutes, the report said. “Seniors are not being served well when you arbitrarily close offices and reduce access to services” said Sen. Bill Nelson-D-Fla., Chairman of the Aging Committee. “The closure process is neither fair nor transparent and needs to change.”
The timing of the office closures is inopportune to say the least, as the very first wave of the Baby Boomers generation are hitting retirement age. If the Social Security Administration can’t keep its doors open now, how will they fare when the incoming retirees multiply, and the challenges they face increase exponentially? How comforting is it to know that the SSA, who are responsible for administering billions of dollars in payouts to seniors each month, lack the funds to maintain basic office space at a time when they should be increasing office space and staff to accommodate the millions of retirees who will be flooding the system. Those of us who are far from retirement age can’t afford to ignore red flags like this.