GOP Senators Slam Feds For Failing To Fix Retirement Planning Calculator

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Juliegrace Brufke Capitol Hill Reporter
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Republican Senators Mike Enzi and Richard Shelby slammed the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau in a letter Friday for failing to address problems with the agency’s Social Security retirement calculator.

The calculator was released in November by the CFPB, a government watchdog formed under the Obama administration, and is designed to help its users understand how their age affects their Social Security benefits. But the tool failed to provide results consistent with the Social Security Administration’s version of the tool.

Enzi, chairman of the Senate Budget Committee, and Shelby, chairman of the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs, slammed the CFPB’s failure to address the problem in a letter Wednesday addressed to CFPB Director Richard Cordray.

“While the planner is intended to help consumers understand how choosing their retirement age affects their future Social Security benefits, unfortunately its estimates contain numerous inconsistencies compared to the Social Security Administration’s retirement benefit calculations,” they wrote.

“These differences appear to be magnified for individuals close to retirement for whom this information matters the most. If the CFPB is to fulfill its own stated mission of ‘empowering consumers to take more control over their economic lives,’ then it must provide clear and accurate information for Americans making important financial decisions.”

Shelby and Enzi had sent a letter in December inquiring on the cost of the calculator, why it created a repetitive tool, and why it was providing faulty information.

The CFPB had responded in February claiming a coding error was responsible for the discrepancies in retroactive benefits, but expected some differences from the SAA’s results. The senators said the agency’s response was “inadequate and unresponsive” and highlighted several unresolved issues, saying the results are still off by hundreds of dollars.

Shelby and Enzi called for the problems to be fixed and answers to their questions be provided in a timely manner.

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