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SS Earnings Info Online; Plus Paper Statements Are Coming Back!

From "Why Social Security?" (1937)
From “Why Social Security?” (1937) (Photo credit: Tobias Higbie)

Remember way back in 2011, when the Social Security Administration used to send you a paper statement every year?  This was a useful statement, which included the estimates of your future benefit at age 62, full retirement age, and age 70, as well as a run-down of your year-by-year earnings information.  Ah the good ol’ days…

Sometime in 2011 the SSA stopped mailing those statements, and instead made available on their website a series of calculators which would give you your Primary Insurance Amount (the amount you’d receive at Full Retirement Age) estimate, but little else.  This calculator was nowhere near as useful, and lots of folks were upset about it.

Well, apparently someone at SSA listened, because now there is a new option on the SSA website, at www.socialsecurity.gov/mystatement, where you can create an account and receive essentially the same information that was previously available on the paper statement – including earnings history!  How about them apples??

But that’s not all…

I have also have it on good authority from a source within SSA that the paper statements will be coming back.  Only for folks age 60 and older, but hey, that’s who really needs this information anyhow, so this is great!

Great job, Social Security!

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8 Comments

  1. [...] Social Security Info Now Online from Financial Ducks in a Row [...]

  2. TinmanNo Gravatar says:

    Jim, thanks for the above link! I registered very easily and my account popped up right away..Life in the Emerald City isn’t what it used to be! The best to you!
    Tinman

  3. AnneNo Gravatar says:

    Well, apparently someone at SSA listened, because now there is a new option on the SSA website, at http://www.socialsecurity.gov/mystatement, where you can create an account and receive essentially the same information that was previously available on the paper statement – including earnings history! How about them apples??

    Great News ! thanks Jim…I will post the good news on my facebook page etc. !!(and esp. email this infor to family and friends…ps thanks SSA ! ! !

  4. MarleneNo Gravatar says:

    Thanks for such a quick response! So I could take my own benefit at 62, then switch to the survivor benefit sometime later? I was told by the clerk at the SS office that I should take the survivor benefit at 60. I think it is a real disservice to widows my age who are trying to figure out the best options. If I start it at 60, it is reduced to 71.5%, so it would really help to not take it until at least 65, if my financial situation can be managed in the near term.
    Thank you again. Love your column!

    1. jblankenshipNo Gravatar says:

      Marlene –

      Yes, that’s correct. I need to correct myself where I said you could take the reduced benefit “now” – I meant you could take your own reduced benefit at age 62 and switch later to the Survivor Benefit at age 66 (your Full Retirement Age) for an unreduced Survivor Benefit.

      jb

  5. MarleneNo Gravatar says:

    I am a 59 yr old widow trying to figure out the options for survivor benefits. I have received conflicting info from my financial advisor and also at the social security office itself. Can I take my own reduced retirement benefit at 62 and switch to survivor later? Or is that only possible if my rate is higher than his? Or is my only option to take survivor benefits at 60? My PIA is less than 50% of my late husbands. If I could delay those benefits to allow them to increase, it would greatly help my situation, since I am currently unemployed and barely making it. This is such an important decision to make and I want to get it right, but the info is very confusing. I get no consistent answers from anyone, as if it is a secret as to how to receive the most benefits. Any info would be most appreciated.

    1. jblankenshipNo Gravatar says:

      Marlene,

      You definitely can take a reduced benefit now (on your own record) and then switch to the Survivor Benefit later, when the reduction to that benefit is either minimized or eliminated.

      Hope this helps –

      jb

  6. Jeff BloomNo Gravatar says:

    Yes, my wife received a statement two days ago in the mail. Age 60. I was surprised since I knew they had stopped mailing them.