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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 23, 2014 at 8:58 pm

Post office union must need the 70 million and mid terms are coming up this year.

Christina D
April 23, 2014 at 8:44 pm

Why don't they save the money and distribute it among the seniors? Who doesn't have access to computers these days?
And I agree with John C. Stop the wasteful spending!

Luann Chandler
April 23, 2014 at 8:41 pm

I don't mind if statements are sent out, but wouldn't the money be better spent giving everyone a raise? I'm 79 years old this July and my SS payment is necessary to pay my mortgage and to live . I'd much rather have a raise than a statement.

April 23, 2014 at 8:25 pm

How about giving us on SS a cost of living raise. How would the senate or congress like to live on $1000 a month and all going up but paychecks. We earned our money. You givieyourself big raises and we the people still pay for all ur trips and yet u want to get rid of SS. Congress and senate are all ajoke. I know I am waisting my time writing this but still want to say it

george pizzo
April 23, 2014 at 8:06 pm

Only the government would decide that 70 million should not be saved. BTW when will our congressman and senators start paying SS.?? Wouldn't that be FAIR. When will they stop giving themselves raises and telling us what we can get.
John should run for Congress, then you will get a fabulous pension and not pay insurance or SS.

olney ford
April 23, 2014 at 7:50 pm

Pat your right. We must start growing and producing our own wya in this country. Praise God for His wisdom !

David Jervah
April 23, 2014 at 7:47 pm

It does not take a genius to figure out how to solve the ss problem. Remove the cap on ss contirbutions. If I make 75,000.00 I pay 6% on that figure. If I make 75,000,000.00 I only pay the 6% on the first $111,000. Is that fair? And really shouldn't we all pay the same amount on our income. That keeps the program solvent.

patricia padon
April 23, 2014 at 7:20 pm

paper social security vs. computer . computer is only as good as the day it decides to crash. then how are you going to retrieve it?

John C.
April 23, 2014 at 7:15 pm

70 million, why the hell would you voluntarily incur that kind of expense? So now not only will we spend 70 million to mail statements but we will be paying to maintain a web presence that is not being fully utilized. So, hey, how about making a paper statement an option in the preferences for a S.S. site user- if you want a paper statement go to the page, sign up, sign in and opt for a paper statement and the kicker would be to bill the users account for the "extra" expense. This would reduce the expenses, keep the option available and put the extra in the peoples pocket, not your own. The fact is if I made such stupid decisions at my job I would not be there long not to mention I don't want the extra mail !!

patricia padon
April 23, 2014 at 7:14 pm

in the old days cafe' and sugar was rationed. we survived on pinto beans and rice. meat is out of price reach. no dairy for our children because it is too expensive. groceries are too expensive I guess we are going to be eating poke and grits poke your feet under the table and grit your teeth. dry beans at $ 2.49 a pound stop this ridiculous price gouging poor working folks need to eat too. go back to paying Americans to raise crops and stop importing so much food we can raise our own.