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Office of the Vice President

For Immediate Release April 12, 1995

As part of the Clinton Administration's continuing efforts to reinvent the federal government, Vice President Al Gore today announced a set of reinvention initiatives for the Social Security Administration.

While the President was in Warm Springs, Ga., commemorating the 50th anniversary of the death of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, Vice President Gore said: "Social Security is one of FDR's most important legacies to the nation."

In unveiling reinvention proposals to improve social security operations while preserving FDR's legacy, the Vice President said: "We'll have a system ready for the next century providing world class service to its customers."

The Clinton-Gore reinvention recommendations for Social Security include:

In developing this proposal the Social Security Administration followed the practice of the Administration's National Performance Review by using customer input to improve SSA operations. Interviews with the public conducted in "focus groups" showed that many retirees have already built their monthly activities around the day their payment arrives. Social Security Commissioner Shirley Chater said: "To change that practice would be disruptive to them, so the payment day for those already on SSA's roles will remain the same unless they ask to participate in our new cycling of payments." That is why payment cycling will apply only to new Social Security beneficiaries. One day of every week in the month would, in fact, become "payment day" for a certain number of new Social Security beneficiaries.

More than forty percent of Social Security's 43 million beneficiaries are still paid by check. Direct deposit would save 35 cents per check, or $70 million per year. In addition, more than 35,000 checks are reported lost each month, and the overwhelming majority of these problems would be eliminated by going to direct deposit.

These proposals will result in $850 million in savings from FY 1997 to FY 2000.