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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 10:41 pm

My outlook on SS was that if my grand mother, father and mother received it in their time that at least I was contributing so that they could have a little income when needed most. With all the black forecast of the future, I never thought that I would receive it, but I am. Sending out annual statements is a waste of money, send out statements when requested and save the money.

April 23, 2014 at 10:37 pm


April 23, 2014 at 10:13 pm

What about all the people who died before they could collect anything. Any answers out there?

April 23, 2014 at 9:56 pm

I don,t understand why we are even being asked for our opinion - when have you ever listened to us? I agree with John C. The man is a genius. David J. has valid points too. Everyone should pay the same. My pet peeve is the people on TV who are in tax trouble and get a huge chunk of their total bill forgotten while the rest of us law-abiding citizens pay our share.

Wanda L.
April 23, 2014 at 9:52 pm

I agree with all of these above comments. Everyone is true. It is about time Americans stand up like some of these other places and take back our country. Yes it is ours. We pay these people in power for doing what (wasting every penny they can get their hands on). Look at the Obama's trips; all very expensive with the entire family, guards, etc., extremely lavish and wasteful.

Where is our SS money that we paid in and my parents paid in and my children are paying in still? Part of it is paying our Senators, congress men, etc. extravagant retirements and insurance policies when we have to scramble to even be able to survive and live. Such a joke anymore.

April 23, 2014 at 9:38 pm

I agree it is a good thing to save the money by not issuing paper statements. But, it is impossible to get mine online. When I got to the simple question of what is my phone#, no matter how many times I put it in, I was told it was a wrong answer and they would not let me go further. PLEASE, I know my own phone#. Have had the same one for many years. A S.S office is not anywhere near where I live. Fustrating,to say the least!

Steve K
April 23, 2014 at 9:33 pm

there's only one way to save SS. "STOP SPENDING IT!" period. The scare is there's not enough SS money to finance future or existing retirement funds. Why not? Oh yeah, they're taking it to fund other benefits or to pay what the politicians are spending. Our 4 fathers paid into SS. Are you telling me that what they & what we paid & What is being paid into SS, it's all used up. Wake up people! I could almost believe this. My question is: where did it go & where is it now. And we vote for these people to take of us? Believe this. They tell you that your boat will float, but they won't tell you, you have a hole in your boat. The next question is: How long do you think you have before it sinks? I'll put my money on how long it will before we go to an all out war. Alright, I've never voted for anyone, & I'm not going to. I refuse to vote which crook is going to take my money. & again, does it really make a diff? A crook is a crook. This is just my opinion. Thank-you!!

April 23, 2014 at 9:33 pm

I know what is going on here!!!!! he is letting all his brothers
out of save money and he is hiring back all them
in Washington to this is out of control I say

Chris T.
April 23, 2014 at 9:24 pm

How is this? We are constantly hearing SS is going broke, but never on welfare! Employee and Employers paid SS and Medicare. Where's the money on people who hasn't reached 62 years old? Not fair that Senates and Congress gives themselves a raise! Let the American people decide whether to give them a raise.

Debbie Church-Obmann
April 23, 2014 at 9:24 pm

Too much money is wasted to preserve terminally ill patients--ss covers too many procedures that will not pro-long life. Why not a tax break, or incentive for people who agree to a DNR? Let's quit wasting ss, and preserve the benefit. And, yes we need a web-site to be able to plan for retirement.