December 16, 2015

Senate Chairmen: Consumer Protection Bureau Retirement Calculator Broken

WASHINGTON D.C. – Wednesday, December 16, 2015 – Senator Richard Shelby (R-AL), Chairman of the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, and Senator Mike Enzi (R-WY), Chairman of the Senate Budget Committee, today blasted the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) for carelessly spending government resources on a duplicative and wasteful retirement calculator that produces flawed results for Americans looking for clear and accurate information before making important financial decisions.

“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,” Shelby and Enzi 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.”

The Chairmen note that the Social Security Administration (SSA) has several benefit calculators on its website.  Rather than directing users to the SSA’s website, the CFPB decided to create its own calculator.  In November, the CFPB unveiled its “planning for retirement tool” to provide estimates for Social Security benefits.  Although the CFPB’s calculator is linked to the SSA’s “Quick Calculator,” it produces erroneous estimates.

The full letter can be viewed here.