For years, the Social Security Administration has mailed out annual statements to inform you of the benefits you or your loved ones will receive upon your retirement, disability, or death. It has been a great service to have this mailed regularly so that you can stay up to date on what to expect under the three different benefit formulas.
However, “the times, they are a changin,” because the Social Security Administration has moved the statements online in an effort to save millions of dollars a year (approximately $70 million, to be precise). In order to access the site, you need to first register (www.ssa.gov/mystatement/). It’s a fairly straightforward process, though creating a memorable Username and Password is a challenge, since you can’t use any part of your name or Social Security number in either. That said, we encourage you to click on the link and create an account.
We make this recommendation for several reasons:
- Pinnacle’s wealth managers like to see these statements periodically, so it’s good to obtain them in advance rather than have to scramble at the last minute.
- Looking over your statement lets you spot errors quickly, rather than letting them sit in the system and cause you problems down the line.
- Everyone with an earnings history has an account, so it’s possible for someone else to register yours (in other words, steal it). This is strictly an informational site, so even if someone does gain access to your account, they couldn’t make changes to your benefits. Nevertheless, it’s a wise safety precaution to go ahead and register your account now, so that it’s protected.
Due to the complexity of the username and password requirements, you should write down your information or keep it in a secure location.
The SSA’s new site is a welcome new service, but you need to do a little advance work to take advantage of it. Why not take a few minutes to do so now, while it’s on your mind?