In a difficult 2017 decision to control costs, the Social Administration decided to discontinue sending Social Security statements in the mail.
Since that time, there has been considerable frustration and confusion, especially for our older Americans. Thankfully, members of Congress heard them loud and clear and decided to do something about it. Senator's Bill Cassidy, R-LA and Ron Wyden, D-OR and Representatives Jon Larson, D-CT, and Vern Buchanan, R-FL, teamed up in a bipartisan effort to sponsor the “Know Your Social Security Act”. Even though workers 60 and over without an online account still receive statements, this legislation aims to allow workers young and old to begin receiving statements again.
Since making the service available online in 2012, the Social Security Administration reported over 30 million people have signed up for My Social Security account to access their records. Being able to check your mailed statement or access your Social Security account online is a valuable tool for those workers who want to know where they stand with their estimated benefits.
As we get older our minds sometimes need refreshing, so many older adults prefer the mailed statement because it is is something they can touch and hold. Simply put, it provides an extra level of security for many. Also, it gives a clear record of your past earnings, as well as a summary of your Social Security and Medicare taxes paid. Like the online version, the mailed statement projects your monthly payment at full retirement age. The statement gives a detailed summary of benefits, an explanation of how benefits are calculated and a phone number to call if you notice any problems with the accuracy of your earnings.
Whether you prefer an electronic version or a statement mailed to your home, you, your employer and the Social Security administration share in the responsibility for maintaining accurate records. American Senior Alliance advocate, Bill Hill said, 'It pays big dividends to be able to see your statement on a consistent basis. I live in a rural area, so I especially enjoy receiving a paper copy. Many older Americans living in rural America struggle with the internet and connections.” Receiving a paper copy in the mail on an annual basis makes life easier for seniors. “Having a copy delivered in the mail allows seniors to easily review their history, make a copy and file them away in safe keeping”, Mr. Hill added.
Like many of our older American's, the bill sponsor's indicate the online access is not getting the job done. In 2018, roughly 2 out of 5 or 40% accessed their My Social Security account. In addition to attempting to provide better Social Security access with the Know Your Social Security Act, the bill clarifies language the Social Security Administration should adhere to in the digital age.
Since American Senior Alliance strives to protect the dollars our older Americans have earned over the years, we believe the My Social Security Act will help with their long term savings. The more our older Americans know about their Social Security, the more informed they will be, thus making sound financial decisions that affect their retirement. Senator Wyden said, “Americans have paid into Social Security out of every paycheck in exchange for a guaranteed benefit in their old age.” Everybody seems to have different needs in their retirement years, so whether you begin taking Social Security at 62 or 70, it makes good sense to spend time researching and studying the projections Social Security provides. Why not provide electronic and mailed statements to help those who enjoy doing things the old fashion way, reviewing their mailed Social Security statement? After all, we think they earned it!