The Social Security statement, a primary source of information for Americans about their earnings history and expected future benefits, has undergone a visual overhaul.
The redesign, unveiled by the Social Security Administration (SSA) Oct. 4, aims to give current and future beneficiaries a quicker, cleaner overview of their Social Security outlook, replacing a text-heavy four-page document with two pages of boxes, charts and graphs.
Once mailed annually to tens of millions of workers, the statements are now distributed primarily online via My Social Security accounts. AARP is backing federal legislation that would require the SSA to resume regularly sending paper copies to people age 25 and up, as it did until a decade ago.
Acting SSA Commissioner Kilolo Kijakazi said in a news release that the document’s new look reflects an agency priority “to provide information to people in clear and plain terms about Social Security’s programs and services.”
For example, personalized estimates of retirement, disability and survivor benefits, previously listed on page 2 of the statement, now appear right up front, in a bar chart and a set of labeled gray boxes. The streamlined format “makes it easier to find information at a glance, helping to simplify our complex programs for the public,” Kijakazi said.
The prominently featured chart shows projected monthly retirement benefits, based on past and current income, if claimed at any age from 62 to 70. The statement also estimates your disability benefit if you become unable to work for an extended period and what your spouse and children could receive if you pass away.