Social Security Statements Now Online
Published: May 20, 2012
Social Security Statements Now Online, Easily view your lifetime earnings history, and also see future expected benefits.The bedrock of retirement for many Americans has gone digital. As of May 1, eligible workers over 18 can access their Social Security statements online – and view their earnings and benefit information – by creating an account at My Social Security.
As you might recall, last year the SSA stopped mailing statements to save money, but in February it resumed mailing them to people 60 or older who hadn’t started drawing Social Security benefits. Later this year, it will mail statements to workers when they turn 25. Workers have been receiving these statements annually since 1999. The SSA has said mailing paper statements has cost the agency $70 to $72 million annually over the past few years.
Registering doesn’t take long (or at least didn’t take long for us; others reported some complications). You’ll need to provide some personal information (address, Social Security number, phone number) that matches information already on file with Social Security to verify your identity, and answer a few questions for security purposes. (Data from the credit reporting agency Experian are used for verification purposes.)
The online statement, by the way, is pretty much identical to the old mailed statement in what information it contains. But the ability to access it at any time is very handy because “the old statement was always being misplaced,” says Jim Blankenship, a certified financial planner in New Berlin, Ill.
Here’s what you’ll see:
-The tool shows three options for your monthly benefit amount based on your current earnings rate: at full retirement age (which for us is age 67); at age 70; and at early retirement age (62). The estimates are based on your average earnings to date and assume you will earn the same annual income from now until retirement. Obviously, waiting to start drawing benefits until age 70 is the most lucrative option (our monthly check will be 82% higher if we wait until age 70 vs. starting at 62).
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