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Social Security returns to paper

By Jennie L. Phipps ·
Tuesday, April 22, 2014
Posted: 4 pm ET

Beginning in September, Social Security will resume sending out personalized benefit statements. These statements used to arrive via snail mail annually but were discontinued in 2011 when the budget was tight.

Social Security hasn't made any official announcements, but its press spokesmen have been telling reporters who ask that the new statements will go out only on key birthdays, in advance of ages 25, 30, 35, 40, 45, 50, 55 and 60 and older, and only to people who aren't receiving Social Security and who haven't registered for a personalized digital Social Security statement.

The Social Security Administration will resume sending paper statements to some people.

The Social Security Administration will resume sending paper statements to some people.

Social Security introduced the digital statements about the time it stopped sending paper statements. The agency saved an estimated $70 million annually.

These digital statements are a great retirement planning tool.  If you haven't already done so, set up a personalized account at There you will be able to see all your key Social Security information, including how much you've paid in, how much your employers have contributed, and how much you are eligible to receive as a disability payment for you and your family, as well as how much you will qualify for in retirement benefits at ages 62, your full retirement age, and your maximum benefit at age 70.

Anyone 18 and older can sign up for one of these online accounts. Be prepared to type in your Social Security number, a mailing address and an email address. You'll also be asked some security questions about former employers and addresses. Your answers must match what Social Security or the credit agency Experian has on file. Experian manages Social Security's online security verification process. The questions aren't hard, but they aren't information that you are likely to have in your wallet. That's by design. If you don't get the answers right, you'll have to try again later or go to a Social Security office and verify your identity.

Once you have established the account, you can examine the numbers there or download a PDF of the entire report and stick it in your file cabinet in case you want to take a look in the future without going through the log-in process. Don't worry: Your Social Security number isn't on the PDF.

Learn how to invest for success in your 401(k) plan.

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April 29, 2014 at 2:13 pm

I should not even be doing this but u are the same people that do this every day , I do read it but its the same old song the government is to big to small and I bet all of you and one way are the other depend on the government, its Obama fault right, it just to bad that his country have come to this and a again its Obama fault right?
you people have a good life if you can.
But i don't think u can u are lonely with nothing more to do sad.

April 29, 2014 at 1:58 pm

To jasper are u a expert??
all you are talking heads just talker with nothing to do and life but this.
come on get a life who care about what u think.

April 29, 2014 at 9:49 am

paper checks......if you have a plastic card for your ss payment and you need cash and have to use a atm machine the rates on these machines are eating up my check and the rates keep getting higher and if your check is direct deposit try finding a bank that has not closed their doors in your neighborhood. When you have to go 20 or more miles to get to your bank so you don't have to pay the atm fees with gas prices the way they are my check is almost gone........USA where the rich gets richer and the poor get poorer..................I hate to think what it will be when our children get to be our age.

April 27, 2014 at 12:55 pm

Jasper 2.
You are completely in error
If one half of your ss plus any other income exceeds 25000 then depending
on the amount 85% of some of your ss benefits will become included in your adjusted gross income.
If your total gross income is $ 34000 I would guess that very little is included in your agi
If you post your ss income and your other income I will be happy to calculate what portion should be included in your adjusted gross income.
I do tax returns for H&R Block for many years and do hundreds every year.

April 26, 2014 at 3:11 pm


You are WAAAAY off the mark on when social security benefits become taxable. I am single, and my benefits start being taxed after my total income (including social secuirty) exceed approximately $25,000. That's hardly rich. At approximately $34,000 (including social security) 85% of my social secuity is taxable at the highest marginal rate.

Do your homework before you post as if you are an authority. You are not!

April 25, 2014 at 10:45 pm

Richard Ludgate. Your possible solution has been in affect since 1983. All federal employees hired after 1983 are under social security. The older workers who are under the Civil Service Retirement System are being phased out.

April 25, 2014 at 1:17 pm

The answer to your question "Why do we pay income tax on social security benefits when we already paid income tax on the social security taxes we paid over the years?" is simple. The rich do not care about SS, because of the income cut off (this year, a little over $100 K) the percentage of their income that goes to SS taxes is tiny. The government needs money, so tax SS recipients. The rich don't care. In case you had not noticed, we have government of the rich, by the rich, for the rich. Anyone notice in the last election that every single really small business owner paid a higher percentage of his income in SS taxes, than Mitt's total percentage?

Susan Kemp
April 24, 2014 at 4:28 pm

Not all Government employees are paid SS. After 40 yrs & 2 months of working for the USPS, I still did not retire at maximum. You need 40 yrs & 11 months for 80%. At least the "paperwork" keeps the PO going with jobs. Secondly, the paperwork can be recycled. Not like the electricity you use for your computer!

April 24, 2014 at 4:07 pm

What a stupid idea, going back to more waste (initiating paperwork, more paper usage, more postage costs, etc.) I guess this is to keep all of their (SSA) jobs, instead of having cuts. Also what about the higher government (Congress, Senate, etc.) wages and how "THEY" decide how much they are going to give themselves, it should be that we, the people, paying their wages come up with the raises they are going to get by how much they have done during the year!!!! In my estimation their raises would be "NOTHING".

Marvin Shaver
April 24, 2014 at 4:05 pm

I would question whether posting all your personal info on line would be a prudent thing to do from the security and privacy standpoint. We have enough to worry about already with regard to identity theft.