Alert
Close

Think you know AARP? What you don't know about us may surprise you. Discover all the 'Real Possibilities'

Highlights

Open

Contests and
Sweeps

Dream Vacation Sweepstakes

10 weeks. 10 amazing trips. Seize your chance to win!
See official rules. 

Car buying made easy with the AARP Auto Buying Program

Free Fun!

AARP Games - Play Now!

Work
PROGRAMS

Best Employers for Workers Over 50

See the latest winners of this AARP recognition program.

Employer Resource Center

Attract and retain top talent in a changing workforce.

Most Popular
ARTICLES

Viewed

Commented

Social Security Statements Will No Longer Be Mailed

Suspension will save $30 million this year

En español | If you liked getting your annual Social Security statement in the mail that listed your lifelong earnings record and an estimate of your expected retirement benefit, you won't like this: The government has suspended the program.

See also: 25 things you should know about Social Security.

As the federal budget battle heats up in Washington and a possible government shutdown looms, the Social Security Administration has announced it will save money by not mailing out annual statements to U.S. workers 25 and older, beginning this month.

The move is expected to save about $30 million in fiscal year 2011 and $60 million in 2012, says SSA spokeswoman Kia Green. Last year 152 million statements were sent.

However, starting early in fiscal year 2012, which begins in October 2011, the government will resume mailing the annual statements to workers age 60 and older who are not yet receiving benefits.

Green says the SSA "is working on an online option" so that all workers can download their statements. No specific date for that option has been set.

Because the annual statements are typically sent out about three months before a worker's birthday, those born in July and later won't be receiving one this year.

David Certner, legislative policy director for AARP, says workers have come to rely on their annual statements, which were first issued in 1999, to make sure their earnings history was correct and to help in their retirement planning.

"We understand the need to save money, but it is also important that individuals have an accurate picture of their earnings record and their projected benefits," he says. "This suspension will make it harder for people to do that."

The annual statements provide an estimate of your retirement benefit at various ages, for example, age 62, 66 and 70, the approximate monthly payment if you became disabled, and how much your family would receive if you died. The statements also provide a history of earnings and the federal taxes paid on your wages.

Workers can get an estimate of their retirement benefits online using SSA's retirement estimator tool. However, the estimator doesn't provide all the information that appears in the written statement, such as a complete earnings record. For that, you need to visit a local Social Security office.

Carole Fleck is a senior editor at the AARP Bulletin.

Topic Alerts

You can get weekly email alerts on the topics below. Just click “Follow.”

Manage Alerts

Processing

Please wait...

progress bar, please wait

Tell Us WhatYou Think

Please leave your comment below.

Your Work

Jobs You Might Like

Discounts & Benefits

Explore Your Learning Possiblities