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Social Security Stops Mailing Annual Statements
Old 04-01-2011, 02:37 PM   #1
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Social Security Stops Mailing Annual Statements

Social Security won't mail annual statements- MSN Money

I guess it might take the Brain Trust over at the Social Security Administration a few more decades to consider how they could send these statements out via email or otherwise make them available online at a fraction of the $70 million dollars they were spending on snail mail ...
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Old 04-01-2011, 04:22 PM   #2
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Oh no! There goes a subsidy to the post office

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Old 04-01-2011, 04:27 PM   #3
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I've caught mistakes they have made with my reported earnings via these annual mailings.

Guess I will have to hold on to all W-2's until I retire, huh?
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Old 04-01-2011, 04:32 PM   #4
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I just got mine last week and it was the stupidest statement.

I have been retired since November, 2009. The statement said that they "hadn't yet received" my earnings information for 2010, and that they were basing my projected amount on either my 2009 or 2010 earnings.

So, it was completely and entirely useless, a totally pie-in-the-sky estimate (When Pigs Fly!).

I went to the online SS estimator and found out what I can really expect to get.
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Old 04-01-2011, 06:17 PM   #5
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I'll be the odd guy here and say I think they are a good idea for the average Joe or Jane who is otherwise clueless about what to expect from SS at retirement. I suspect many think they will get much more than they actually are due, thus this statement may spark a tiny awareness that they need to save more.
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Old 04-01-2011, 08:06 PM   #6
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I went to the online SS estimator and found out what I can really expect to get.
Is it not rather that "what you think you'll get"?

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I'll be the odd guy here and say I think they are a good idea for the average Joe or Jane who is otherwise clueless about what to expect from SS at retirement. I suspect many think they will get much more than they actually are due, thus this statement may spark a tiny awareness that they need to save more.
+1

Many people have no ideas what they will be getting for SS. And not everyone knows how to get to the SS Web site to figure it out for themselves. Some do not have an E-mail address, hard as it is for people here to believe.

Eventually, the SS computer system will allow people to get on-line access, and to opt out of snail-mail as the article described.
"The long-term plan is to allow the public to access the statement online," he adds. "We're working hard, but we don't have a timetable yet."
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Old 04-01-2011, 11:19 PM   #7
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Old 04-01-2011, 11:55 PM   #8
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There is actually a computer program that is more accurate than the Web site, called any PIA. In it you enter your actual earnings history to get an estimate. (It is saved in a file so you only need to do this once). Keeps the info in your computer and off the web.
The program is also on the SS web site, and is described as more accurate.
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Old 04-02-2011, 03:22 AM   #9
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I've caught mistakes they have made with my reported earnings via these annual mailings.

Guess I will have to hold on to all W-2's until I retire, huh?
.. or until you reach 60.

Quote:
Lassiter says the Social Security Administration hopes to resume mailing annual statements next fall, but only to Americans age 60 and older who are not currently receiving benefits.

PS that story link also has a little SS quiz
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Old 04-02-2011, 06:38 AM   #10
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That has only been going on for the last 10 or 15 years... at least that is when I saw them begin to show up.

I think SS was doing that to help people plan retirement (outfit them with the info) since pensions are on the way out!


BTW - Those that believe that the print solution is idiotic today are obviously not acquainted with the real issues. I won't bother to digress too much. Although I am sure some foolish programmer will pop off about it (wipe the snot from their nose and pontificate about the web site they developed).

The fact is that those of us that use the web for banking, certain purchases, and securities would be making faulty assumptions if we assume that the way electronic statements are delivered is fit for everyone today. It is getting there, but there are some practical problems and it is not quite there yet! Assuming that the goal is to inform everyone! Believe it or not some citizens do not have handy access!

That is not to say that there may not be a better way... or to question whether or not the method actually works! But it is not as simple as the casual observer may think.


Perhaps.... maybe they could enable people to opt-in to electronic delivery... assuming they believe the program to be worthy of continuing.
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Old 04-02-2011, 07:11 AM   #11
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I think what NW-Bound/Chinaco said pretty much hit the nail on the head. Where I work, the people are computer savy. They have this mindset that the rest of the country is that way, too. But, it ain't.
You need to remember that we on this forum are all on the internet, know a little about computers and thus have this certain mindset, too. But, we are not the composite of the population. We live in our bubbles. There are a lot of people...poor, uneducated and backward...out there. There is no way that everyone can be expected to go on line, unless provided with a way/training and equipment. (Where's Bama when you need him?).

And, I myself do not want to change getting my yearly report by snail mail.
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Old 04-02-2011, 08:07 AM   #12
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The fact is that those of us that use the web for banking, certain purchases, and securities would be making faulty assumptions if we assume that the way electronic statements are delivered is fit for everyone today.
Absolutely (and from a former I.T. guy ).

The reason I still get statements mailed even though I pay 99% of bills on-line, along with monthly bank statements is the simple fact that if I die before my DW and me being the person who pays all the bills, she would have a hard time finding all of my auto/manual actions just from on-line transactions.

Sure, I've given her all the passwords and such, but it's not something she normally does so there is no interest. Also, I've requested that the various vendor's I do electronic transactions provide confirmation to duplicate email addresses (hers/mine), which they are unable/unwilling to do.

Until they make the "data flow" (e.g. electronic or paper) a bit better, I'm not willing (and DW doesn’t want) elimination of snail mail...
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Old 04-02-2011, 11:05 AM   #13
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They have only been sending out statements since 1999, and they send them to everyone regardless of age which is definitely a waste of money imo. They say they will start sending them out to 60 yr olds which is reasonable.

I assume they will still send out estimates on request. Practically speaking, how often do we really need a SS estimate?
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Old 04-02-2011, 11:28 AM   #14
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On the other hand, it's good for 20 and 30-somethings to receive their statements and say to themselves, "OMG, they expect me to live on that! I'd better start saving now. "
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Old 04-02-2011, 11:34 AM   #15
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On the other hand, it's good for 20 and 30-somethings to receive their statements and say to themselves, "OMG, they expect me to live on that! I'd better start saving now. "
Good point. I believe that was the intent of the annual mailing...
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Old 04-02-2011, 11:40 AM   #16
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On the other hand, it's good for 20 and 30-somethings to receive their statements and say to themselves, "OMG, they expect me to live on that! I'd better start saving now. "
Not really, not until they qualify. My son, aged 29, gets a statement each year but all it says is that he has "x" credits and does not qualify for SS. You can only earn a max of 4 credits a year and need 40 to qualify so I see little point in sending a statement every year until you qualify.

Like many government initiatives they went over the top. They went from sending no annual statements to sending way too many. I think a statement at age 30, 40, 50 and 60 would suffice for most planning needs.
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Old 04-02-2011, 12:16 PM   #17
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It will save me the yearly exercise of laughing maniacally and yelling to the young wife "Do they really expect me to believe this stuff?"
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Old 04-02-2011, 01:01 PM   #18
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I think a statement at age 30, 40, 50 and 60 would suffice for most planning needs.
Nah; since I'm planning on filing for SS at age 70, I want to make sure I get that "final one" ...
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Old 04-02-2011, 01:04 PM   #19
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yelling to the young wife...
And where do I get one of those?
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Old 04-02-2011, 01:21 PM   #20
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Not really, not until they qualify. My son, aged 29, gets a statement each year but all it says is that he has "x" credits and does not qualify for SS...
Hmm... I never talk to my 25-yr old daughter about her statement to see what it says.

You are right about there being no need to tell the youngsters that their money has not gotten them anything for the first 10 years. It might just make them mad, if they think of how that money would have grown in their 401k.

Better to keep them in the dark!

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It will save me the yearly exercise of laughing maniacally and yelling to the young wife "Do they really expect me to believe this stuff?"
Why not? Money printing is cheap. Actually, the beauty of modern technology is that no actual printing is required, and they can just increment some numbers in these banking computers.
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