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Social Security Administration (SSA) Supplement

SSA Supplement Overview

The U.S. Census Bureau conducted the Social Security Administration Supplement on Retirement, Pensions, and Related Content (SSA Supplement) on behalf of the SSA between Wave 1 and Wave 2 of the 2014 Panel. The SSA Supplement is a separate survey from the Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP), even though the sample consists of households that completed 2014 Wave 1 SIPP interviews. The topics included in the SSA Supplement were selected by the SSA from previous SIPP panel topical modules.

Topics included in the SSA Supplement:

  • Personal retirement account contributions and withdrawals
  • Participation in pension and retirement plans provided by an employer or business
  • Marital history
  • Health status
  • Work, adult, and child disabilities

The 2014 SIPP removed these topics in order to reduce overall respondent burden since it is not necessary to ask them each wave. However, the SSA still needs the data from these topics to analyze the economic and social situation of people with disabilities and people in or approaching retirement. Examples include adjusting the age for retirement benefits, assessing people’s ability to save for retirement, estimating the number of legally eligible people for Social Security survivor benefits, and evaluating and modifying the disability criteria for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) eligibility.

The SSA Supplement is a one-time survey conducted after Wave 1 of the 2014 SIPP panel, from September through November 2014. All interviews were conducted by centralized telephone – there was no personal visit component.

The SSA Supplement data can be used independently or merged with the 2014 Wave 1 SIPP data.

Uses of SSA Supplement Data

Although the SSA uses the information collected through this survey to make decisions about Social Security programs, any data user can use the data from the SIPP and SSA Supplement surveys to create a complete picture of the economic and social situation of older or disabled Americans.

As the economic situation in the U.S. is constantly changing, the information provided in these surveys can be used to assess the effectiveness and further need for policy and program reforms.


The U.S. Census Bureau is required by law to protect all respondent information. We conducted this survey under the authority of Title 13, United States Code, Section 8(b) and by Section 1110 [42 U.S.C 1310] (a)(1) of the Social Security Act. Federal law protects respondent privacy and keeps their answers confidential under Title 13, United States Code, Section 9. Per the Federal Cybersecurity Enhancement Act of 2015, all data are protected from cybersecurity risks through screening of the systems that transmit the data.

The law requires the Census Bureau and SSA to keep all respondent information confidential and use their responses only to produce statistics. We cannot publicly release a respondent’s responses in any way that could identify the person, business, organization, or institution.

Additionally, prior to the release of the data, all products met the Census Bureau’s Disclosure Review Board standards, ensuring privacy. Our modifications maintained the integrity of the data while preventing the identification of any respondent.

Contact Information

If you have any questions related to the SSA Supplement, the 2014 Wave 1 SIPP data, or any other information, please contact the SIPP Survey Team by:

Phone: 1.888.245.3076

Email: census.sipp@census.gov

Page Last Revised - October 8, 2021
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