Your Social Security statement is now online
U.S. workers under age 60 will no longer receive an annual paper statement about Social Security contributions and future benefits.
This post comes from Miranda Marquit at partner blog Bargaineering.
For years, you've received an annual Social Security statement. This statement contains information about how much money you've earned and contributed to Social Security, as well as your estimated benefits later on, when you can begin taking Social Security payments.
The Social Security Administration has done away with annual paper statements for workers under 60 and now offers statements online. This is convenient, because it makes it possible to access your information at any time.
You have to create an account on the site, but once that's done, you have access to your Social Security statement. You can even apply online for retirement and disability benefits. (Post continues below.)
- Editor's note: I just created an account at the Social Security website. It was easy to do.
What's in your Social Security statement?
The two main items on your Social Security statement are:
- Benefits. This section is updated regularly to reflect how much money you have contributed over your lifetime and how much money you can expect to receive. You need a certain number of "credits" to qualify for retirement benefits, and the number you have is listed in this section. You can also see how much of a disability payment you are eligible for, as well as how much your family members could expect to receive if you were to die.
- Earnings report. You will see how much you earned each year, as well as an estimate of how much money you've paid into Social Security and Medicare. Your earnings record should be carefully reviewed for inaccuracies. If the number is too low, you could miss out on benefits down the road. If the number is too high, that could be an indication that your identity has been compromised and someone else is using your Social Security number.
Checking the accuracy of your statement is important. If there is something wrong, contact the Social Security Administration at 800-772-1213. You want to clear things up as quickly as possible. It's much easier to fix problems now, rather than try to get the full amount of benefits you are owed once you retire.
It's also important to clear up mistakes about how much you have earned. While it might be nice to think that someone using your Social Security number could result in increased benefits for you, it could also mean problems with the IRS if it looks like you haven't been paying income tax because the person who stole your number isn't paying those taxes.
It doesn't take very long to review your Social Security statement, and it's a good idea to do so. It can alert you to identity theft, as well as help you plan for a successful retirement.
More on Bargaineering and MSN Money:
At the rate technology is going, we all should be cavemen again with no personal identities within 30-40 years!
Hey, have you seen "John Doe" today?
Which one, there are 2 million that hold that ID!
The one that lives in the cave where 42nd street use to be.
Ok... There are 150 with that ID in caves on 42nd street.
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