(a) Claimants for benefits. Each month, SSA checks the name and social security number of each new claimant for social security benefits or for hospital insurance coverage to see whether the claimant is listed in SSA's electronic pension benefit record. This record contains information received from IRS on individuals for whom private pension plan administrators have reported to IRS, as required by section 6057 of the Internal Revenue Code, as possibly having a right to future retirement benefits under the plan. SSA sends a notice to each new claimant for whom it has pension benefit information, as required by section 1131 of the Act. If the claimant filed for the lump-sum death payment on the social security account of a relative, SSA sends the claimant the pension information on the deceased individual. In either case, SSA sends the notice after it has made a decision on the claim for benefits. The notice shows the type, payment frequency, and amount of pension benefit, as well as the name and address of the plan administrator as reported to the IRS. This information can then be used by the claimant to claim any pension benefits still due from the pension plan.
(b) Requesting deferred vested pension benefit information from SSA files. Section 1131 of the Act also requires SSA to provide available pension benefit information on request. SSA will provide this pension benefit information only to the individual who has the pension coverage (or a legal guardian or parent, in the case of a minor, on the individual's behalf). However, if the individual is deceased, the information may be provided to someone who would be eligible for any underpayment of benefits that might be due the individual under section 204(d) of the Act. All requests for such information must be in writing and should contain the following information: the individual's name, social security number, date of birth, and any information the requestor may have concerning the name of the pension plan involved and the month and year coverage under the plan ended; the name and address of the person to whom the information is to be sent; and the requester's signature under the following statement: “I am the individual to whom the information applies (or “I am related to the individual as his or her ______”). I know that if I make any representation which I know is false to obtain information from Social Security records, I could be punished by a fine or imprisonment or both.” Such requests should be sent to: Social Security Administration, Office of Central Records Operations, P.O. Box 17055, Baltimore, Maryland 21235.
[60 FR 42434, Aug. 16, 1995]