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SOCIAL SECURITY

SOCIAL SECURITY STATEMENT - 1 Year Later

The Social Security Administration (SSA) has completed its first full year of mailing annual Social Security Statements to all workers age 25 and older not receiving Social Security benefits.

From October 1999 through September 2000, SSA sent out over 133 million
Statements.

Public reaction to the Social Security Statement has been overwhelmingly positive. Here are several examples:

  • "I just received my first personalized Social Security Statement. I think it is an excellent report and very helpful for planning for retirement. It has answered a lot of questions for me and I’m sure for others. Good job."
  • "Firstly let me congratulate (sic) you on your incredible notification system. . .it will help me plan my future!"
  • "Thanks for sending the statement -- It appears to be accurate and is helpful. Since I am self-employed, I’d like to know how my potential earnings for the next several years might affect my monthly retirement payments."
  • "I think the statement is very valuable in that previously I felt I was contributing to a big unknown. I now can ensure that all my contributions are being tracked properly."

Receipt of a Statement increases overall knowledge about Social Security and prompts
millions to rethink their retirement planning decisions.

  • 46% of persons receiving a Social Security Statement have said they are likely to change their retirement plans.
  • 42% have said they are likely to contact a financial advisor.
  • 82% have indicated they are filing the Statement with their important records.
  • 47% have contacted SSA for more information.
  • Less than 0.2% of people receiving a Statement, only about 250,000 people, have identified earnings errors on their Statement that needed correction.

Beginning in October 2000, SSA is adding more retirement planning information to the Statement.

  • Everyone age 55 and older will receive a special insert in their annual Social Security Statement. The insert provides important information on options that individuals may want to consider as they reach the age when they can begin receiving Social Security benefits. The insert discusses:
    • The increase in the full retirement age;
    • The impact of taking benefits before full retirement age or delaying benefits beyond full retirement;
    • The effect of working while receiving Social Security benefits;
    • When and how to apply for benefits; and
    • Where to go to get more information.
  • About 20 million people will receive the Statement with the insert.
Note: Copies of Commissioner's speeches, SSA press releases, as well as other Social Security information
and statistics, are available at SSA’s Internet site, Social Security Online, at http://www.ssa.gov.
Also look there for information on subscribing to SSA’s
free electronic newsletter, Social Security e-news.
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