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-   -   Social Security Stops Mailing Annual Statements (https://www.early-retirement.org/forums/f28/social-security-stops-mailing-annual-statements-55482.html)

Rustward 06-20-2011 12:55 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by gerntz (Post 1081727)
I can't even get a estimate online as the birth date they have for me on the mailings is wrong. So when I try to enter either the right or wrong date the site comes back as says we can't match either to their records. I wonder why? LOL.

You may want to follow up on this and get it corrected. If they can't give you an estimate now, they might not be able to pay you a benefit when you are eligible.

Achiever51 06-20-2011 01:04 PM

Definitely should check with SSA to get this corrected before you plan to draw benefits. My Mom's birthdate was off by one digit and she had to jump thru some hoops to get it corrected when she applied for my Dad's benefit

Independent 06-20-2011 01:05 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by gerntz (Post 1081727)
I can't even get a estimate online as the birth date they have for me on the mailings is wrong. So when I try to enter either the right or wrong date the site comes back as says we can't match either to their records. I wonder why? LOL.

This calculator allows you to enter your birthdate and annual earnings. I used it recently and it matched the version that looks up your data for a particular scenario, but I felt this version gave me more flexibility (I got most of my earnings history from my last paper statement).

Social Security Online Calculator

MasterBlaster 06-20-2011 01:43 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by gerntz (Post 1081727)
I can't even get a estimate online as the birth date they have for me on the mailings is wrong. So when I try to enter either the right or wrong date the site comes back as says we can't match either to their records. I wonder why? LOL.

You need to contact SSA to fix that. Make sure that your work record matches what they have.

Backpacker 06-20-2011 02:09 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by freebird5825 (Post 1081592)
In the absence of annual hardcopy statements, I created a calendar reminder to check my future SS benefits using the online estimator at www.ssa.gov/estimator
The reminder pinged me today, so I ran the Estimator and was happy to see that my future benefits are with $10 of my last hardcopy statement dated September 2009. All is well. ;D
I used the scenario creation tool to enter a retirement age of 52 (my current age) and future earnings of zero (FIREd). I was not allowed to enter my real retirement age of 48, but entering 52 was close enough. My 2009 hardcopy statment shows a stop w*rking age of 48, so I feel pretty good about the data integrity of my own SS records.
The Retirement Benefit Estimate was very brief...it consisted of only the *Retirement data (3 values for benefit amounts at FRA 66yrs 8mos, age 70, and age 62) listed under Your Retirement Benefits (from page 2 of the hardcopy version). There was no *Disability, *Family, or *Survivors data provided.
What I could not find was a way to view my Earnings Record (from page 3 of the hardcopy version) online.
Has anyone else tried to verify their Earnings Record? Were you able to find a way to successfully get a complete set of data online?


I could not find earnings record on-line so called a live body and was told i must submit a form and pay a fee and wait 4 months for an answer...zoiks

gerntz 06-21-2011 09:07 AM

I did contact SS. They looked up my records and found that I originally applied with my correct birth date (Imagine that I had it right?) as a teenager, but that when they created an electronic file of my records however many years ago they entered the wrong month - "5" & "2" do look similar I admit. I said OK, fine, fix it (Should be simple, right, given she had the original application, right?)

But she said I needed to get a birth certificate & then take it to an SS office to get the change made and that 911 made changes more difficult (huh?).

I responded bs. I said that I didn't create the issue, SS did. You fix it. Afterall, she could see both the original record by me (on microfiche or whatever) & that an error had been made in the electronic file. After continued haggling, she magically found a form # that she could fill out & send to some SS records office in Baltimore to get the correction made. The net of that is she didn't want to do anything.

Said it will take a month or so for the correction to be made. I'm in no hurry. We'll see.

travelover 06-21-2011 09:13 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by gerntz (Post 1082099)
..........But she said I needed to get a birth certificate & then take it to an SS office to get the change made and that 911 made changes more difficult (huh?). ............

More Bin Laden tax........:(

FreeAtLast 06-22-2011 08:12 PM

My guess is that when they started sending them out 10+ years ago they had their own agenda. Social Security was already in need of help as they had every year just increased the rates & limits of the amount they collected from worker/employer. Around that time they found it harder and harder to make the traditional increase. Medicare got split from SS with the contribution percentages and limits.

I think that they did it to help promote themselves as if to say, you have a balance in an account with us. Just as we are used to seeing on our bank statements.

It also delivered a message that SS should only be relied on as part of retirement income. Interestingly, they started sending their statements just after corporate america started doing away with the traditional pension.

freebird5825 07-18-2011 10:03 AM

GAO is doing their j*b. Hopefully we will see a reversal of the "no more statements" decision, possibly with statements available in an online version. No timetable is set.
Social Security Statements Remain Unavailable - The Best Life (usnews.com)

ziggy29 07-18-2011 10:17 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by freebird5825 (Post 1089870)
GAO is doing their j*b. Hopefully we will see a reversal of the "no more statements" decision, possibly with statements available in an online version. No timetable is set.
Social Security Statements Remain Unavailable - The Best Life (usnews.com)

Maybe, maybe not. The cynic in me suspects that "cost savings" is a smokescreen here, that maybe if they stop sending these statements to us, we're less likely to notice if future reforms reduce the amount we can expect to receive...

freebird5825 07-18-2011 10:33 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ziggy29 (Post 1089878)
Maybe, maybe not. The cynic in me suspects that "cost savings" is a smokescreen here, that maybe if they stop sending these statements to us, we're less likely to notice if future reforms reduce the amount we can expect to receive...

Make room for me next to you on the "cynic bench". ;)
The silver lining is GAO's opinion usually makes things happen, from my limited experience. We shall see...

Redbugdave 07-22-2011 02:47 PM

This is crazy. I can understand reducing mailing costs by not sending statements out to everyone. But, on a request basis...that should not be too overwhelming or overly costly. I think we have a right to see a statement if requested. It could be on-line for all I care and I could print it out.

What would say or do if your bank would not let you see your statement or monthly transactions?

I agree...there is a hidden agenda going on. This may be a way to get more funding for the agency...

Alan 07-22-2011 03:14 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Redbugdave (Post 1091269)
This is crazy. I can understand reducing mailing costs by not sending statements out to everyone. But, on a request basis...that should not be too overwhelming or overly costly. I think we have a right to see a statement if requested. It could be on-line for all I care and I could print it out.

What would say or do if your bank would not let you see your statement or monthly transactions?

I agree...there is a hidden agenda going on. This may be a way to get more funding for the agency...

If you go on-line you can get an estimate of your SS benefits when you retire.

If you want to get your earnings history you can complete a request for an earnings statement on-line.

Redbugdave 07-22-2011 07:31 PM

Alan...Yes, I have been into the on-line estimate on the SS website. The SSA has stopped the earnings statement, (with history), on line by request. I think they jumped the gun.

Here's a couple links to the GAO report that Freebird mentioned...The second one is more informative...
U.S. GAO - Social Security Statements: Observations on SSA's Plans for the Social Security Statement
https://www.gao.gov/highlights/d11787thigh.pdf

growing_older 07-22-2011 11:12 PM

So before they started sending out regular statements, the admonition used to be check your earnings statements regularly, because there is a limited window during which record keeping errors can be corrected. If you get credited with too little earnings, you will get a reduced benefit. I have in fact found errors in my record that had to be corrected by sending in additional documentation.

If there are no statements, how do you know if your records are correct?

Alan 07-23-2011 03:00 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Redbugdave (Post 1091349)
Alan...Yes, I have been into the on-line estimate on the SS website. The SSA has stopped the earnings statement, (with history), on line by request. I think they jumped the gun.

Here's a couple links to the GAO report that Freebird mentioned...The second one is more informative...
U.S. GAO - Social Security Statements: Observations on SSA's Plans for the Social Security Statement
https://www.gao.gov/highlights/d11787thigh.pdf

The article above that Freebird linked to does say that printed statements will continue to be available on request.

Quote:

In comments, SSA noted that paper statements will continue to be available, on request, in English and Spanish.
.
.
it is unclear how many workers will request mailed statements after this information is made available online
In my post I didn't actually mean to say that you can get your earnings statement on-line - sorry. I meant to say that you can apply for your earnings statement by going on-line and obtaining the form which you print out and fill in. (probably a phone call would also get you a copy of the application form in the mail)

Looking at the site I believe you can go here and then print out the form "SSA-750 in" and mail it to the address given. They should then send you an earnings statement that you can use to check for errors.

I agree that it is much easier to be able to get it on-line and that they should have provided the on-line version before they stopped sending out annual earnings statements.

Redbugdave 07-23-2011 05:39 AM

Hey Alan...Thanks for that link! I did not know about it. That helps immensely. That's what I will do. Thanks!


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