Monday, May 21, 2012

Save Your Last Soc Sec Earnings Statement

There are a few things that come to me and then I forget about them the next minute and one of those things is
"Did I get my Social Security Earnings Statement this year?

Well - the answer is no and you probably didn't either and while you thought about it once in awhile - you forget about it - like me.

Well now you can just forget about it.

Found this excerpt - from last year -  on PBS this morning while researching something else and it came as a surprise to me.
Kinda ticked me off too.

Those with summer birthdays will find an important piece of mail missing from their mailboxes. On March 31, the Social Security Administration abruptly decided to stop sending its yearly earnings statements.

Apart from a post on its website, and Commissioner Michael Astrue’s testimony before the Senate on March 9, the organization made no other announcement that it would be discontinuing the statements.

Kia Price, public relations office for the SSA, said the decision was made due to budget concerns. The SSA will save $30 million this year by discontinuing the statements, and estimates it will save $60 million in fiscal year 2012.

This all came as a surprise to James Watkins, who waited this April for his earnings statement to show up in the mail. The SSA has sent out yearly earnings statements automatically to everyone over the age of 25 approximately three months before their birthday since 1995. The statements contain the worker’s earnings record, estimated benefits, and yearly taxable earnings. It allows workers to verify that their wages are reported correctly.

David Certner, legislative policy director at AARP, said that even if the online tools were as robust as they could be, they are still no substitute for a written statement. He said Social Security is still the largest income provider for retirees, and that isn’t likely to change. In fact, he estimates it will become even more important, especially to those in their 50s and 60s who have recently lost value in their homes or lost their savings in the recession. People are living longer, pensions are weaker, and that earnings statement is still the best way to ensure the correct information gets into people’s hands.

“These are people on the brink of retirement. The average age to take Social Security is 62, so that doesn’t give a lot of lead time for people,” Certner said. “This is an important annual statement, and an important contribution people are making.”

While calling the SSA to request a copy of your earnings record is an option, it can also be complicated, taking a lot more time than even the online tool requires. For now, Certner says AARP can only urge people to make phone calls and use as much of the online information as possible to track their earnings and estimated monthly benefits.

Early in fiscal year 2012 the SSA does hope to resume sending statements to people age 60 and over who are not currently receiving benefits. AARP hopes to work with the administration to expand that age bracket, but for now there are no plans to resume statements for any other group, which makes Watkins nervous.
Interesting how this was never brought to anyone's attention.

Hope you saved the social security earnings statement you received (I did) - cause you might need it to prove that you did get a statement at one time saying that you had benefits coming to you from Social Security.

I would put that last one in a safe place.

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