Are Social Security Statements Making a Comeback?

June 10, 2014

As you may recall from one of my earlier blog posts, I'm a huge Denver Broncos fan. I'm also a huge Anaheim Ducks fan.

Unfortunately, neither team was able to win their coveted prize. But who knows, maybe both teams will stage a comeback next year.

Speaking of comebacks, the Social Security Administration (SSA) announced it will resume mailing personalized estimated benefit statements – but not to everyone...

But let's first recall what is included in the annual statement. It includes an estimate of monthly benefits at various claiming ages. It also explains how Social Security benefits are calculated and displays the individual's earnings history and the total Social Security and Medicare taxes paid on those earnings through employment. In addition, it includes estimates on how much an individual could receive should he/she become disabled before retirement age, as well as survivor benefits for family members (i.e., spouse and children) following the individual's death.

Now that we've refreshed our memories, let's get back to the mailing of statements.


History of the Statements1

You probably remember receiving your benefits statement in the mail every year, and then in 2011 you stopped receiving it. Why? SSA decided to stop mailing the statements, which saved $70 million annually in print and postage costs. SSA encouraged individuals to sign up for online statements by setting up a personal account at My Social Security. Unfortunately, only 6% of individuals signed up on the website; the reason for the low rate may be attributed to lack of Internet access.


Who Will Begin Receiving Statements?2

In February 2012, mailing of paper statements resumed to individuals ages 60 and older who have not started receiving benefits. Starting this September, SSA will resume mailing the statements in five-year intervals at ages 25, 30, 35, 40, 45, 50, 55, and 60 and older for those who are not receiving Social Security benefits. Statements will not be mailed to individuals who signed up to view their statements online.
 

Pacific Life Social Security Resources

Please check the Social Security section of our website for marketing resources. You can also visit our Social Security Retirement Income Estimator Calculator to generate an estimate of Social Security retirement income.

If you have further Social Security questions, contact the Retirement Strategies Group at (800) 722-2333, ext. 3939, or send an e-mail to RSG@PacificLife.com.

 



1http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/04/19/us-social-security-idUSBREA3I0GL20140419

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Steve is a Senior Retirement Strategies Consultant with the Retirement Solutions Division at Pacific Life. He brings more than 25 years of industry experience in financial planning and wealth management, including detailed knowledge of both employer-sponsored retirement plans and retirement-planning strategies.

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