Thursday, May 19, 2022

How To Get Your Social Security Earnings Statement Online

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Guiding Clients Through The Creation Of Their My Social Security Account

How to look up your Social Security statement online

If youre a financial advisor, the chances are high that youve already established your own my Social Security account . But it may have been several years or longer since youve created your account or helped walk a family member, friend, or client through the process.

In order to create amy Social Security account, individuals should visit www.ssa.gov/myaccount, and click the Create an Account button, after which individuals will be brought to another page, where they will need to click another Create New Account button .

From there, users will be prompted to agree to the Terms of Service, which include acknowledging that false or misleading statements can lead to civil and/or criminal penalties, as well as important restrictions on the extent to which others may aid in the process to establish the account .

After agreeing to the Terms of Service, clients will be required to provide some basic information, including the following:

  • First and last name, as shown on their Social Security card
  • Social Security number
  • Home address and
  • Email address.

Note that in an effort to help increase the security of workers my Social Security accounts, beginning June 10, 2017, two-factor authentication is required each time an individual logs into their account. Workers have the opportunity to provide a valid cell phone number to use for this purpose.

Nerd Note:

Understanding Benefits Shown On A Social Security Statement

Once a worker has established their my Social Security account, they can easily access and download a current Social Security statement.

The information that most workers and advisors are concerned with can be found on pages 2 and 3 of the statement, but advisors may wish to pause to review information on page 1 with clients, too, as it can help prompt important planning conversations.

How To Get Your Social Security Statement Online

Your Social Security Statement is available to view online at any time by opening a my Social Security account on www.ssa.gov/myaccount. This allows users to learn about their future Social Security benefits and to see their current earnings history.

Make sure to check that your Social Security number is correct on the account, and that your personal details and marital status are up to date. This will ensure that the earnings are all correct.

For workers aged 60 and over without a Social Security account, your Social Security Statements should be mailed to you three months ahead of your birthday.

Read Also: How To Find Out How Much Social Security I Will Get When I Retire

How Do Benefits Work And How Can I Qualify

While you work, you pay Social Security taxes. This tax money goes into a trust fund that pays benefits to:

  • Those who are currently retired

  • To people with disabilities

  • To the surviving spouses and children of workers who have died

Each year you work, youll get credits to help you become eligible for benefits when its time for you to retire. Find all the benefits Social Security Administration offers.

There are four main types of benefits that the SSA offers:

  • Learn about earning limits if you plan to work while receiving Social Security benefits

How Can I Get A Form Ssa

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An SSA-1099 is a tax form we mail each year in January to people who receive Social Security benefits. It shows the total amount of benefits you received from Social Security in the previous year so you know how much Social Security income to report to IRS on your tax return.

If you are a nonresident alien and you received or repaid Social Security benefits last year, we will send you form SSA-1042S instead.

The forms SSA-1099 and SSA-1042S are not available for people who receive Supplemental Security Income .

If you currently live in the United States and you need a replacement form SSA-1099 or SSA-1042S, we have a new way for you to get an instant replacement quickly and easily beginning February 1st by:

  • Using your online mySocial Security account. If you dont already have an account, you can create one online. Go to . Once you are logged in to your account, select the “Replacement Documents” tab
  • Calling us at 1-800-772-1213 , Monday through Friday, 8:00 am 7:00 pm or

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Only Workers Themselves Can Establish A My Social Security Account

While advisors can, and should, help guide clients through the process of creating a my Social Security account , advisors cannot create a my Social Security account for clients even if they have the clients consent!

This applies even when an advisor has all the information on file to do so. It doesnt matter if they have received permission from a client verbally or in writing. They are simply not permitted to create an account on behalf of a client.

From the Social Security Administrations website:

You may only create an account using your own personal information. Do not create an account using another persons information or identity, even if you have that persons written permission or are that persons representative payee or appointed representative.

Accordingly, and as cumbersome as this may seem, if an advisor is helping a client establish their my Social Security account in the advisors office, the advisor should turn over control of the keyboard and mouse to the client while completing the application.

In addition, advisors should ensure that only the client has access to their password. Advisors should not only proactively instruct clients to avoid sharing their password verbally, but they should also ensure that the clients password is not saved by the advisors web browser or any of the advisors password-capturing tools .

Using Page One Of The Social Security Statement As A Conversation Starter

Page 1 of the Social Security statement indicates that Social Security benefits are meant to be a supplementary source of income in retirement and should not be ones only source of income in retirement. The statement says :

Social Security benefits are not intended to be your only source of income when you retire. On average, Social Security will replace about 40 percent of your annual pre-retirement earnings. You will need other savings, investments, pensions, or retirement accounts to make sure you have enough money to live comfortably when you retire.

To the extent advisors have not already had such a discussion with the client, this can be an opportune time to discuss how much of a clients retirement income needs are anticipated to be covered by Social Security benefits.

Notably, while the Social Security statement states that, on average, 40% of pre-retirement earnings are replaced by Social Security benefits, this number is often dramatically lower for the high-income and/or high-net-worth individuals with whom many advisors work.

In some cases, clients may wish to see more of their future income needs covered by guaranteed sources. This can, in turn, lead to discussions about pension options, Qualifying Longevity Annuity Contracts and other Deferred Income Annuities , Single Premium Immediate Annuities , and other ways clients may wish to generate guaranteed income to cover a higher percentage of their desired/necessary retirement income.

Also Check: How To Get Deceased Parents Social Security Number

Report The Death Of A Social Security Or Medicare Beneficiary

You must report the death of a family member receiving Social Security or Medicare benefits. The Social Security Administration processes death reports for both. Find out how you can report a death and how to cancel benefit payments. In addition to canceling SSA and Medicare benefits, find out what other benefits and accounts you should cancel.

Review The Clients Earnings Record

Review Your Social Security Statement

When it comes to software or calculations, theres an old expression, Garbage in, garbage out.

The Social Security Administration calculates an individuals projected and, ultimately, actual Retirement Benefit using their highest 35 years of wage-inflation-adjusted earnings. Accordingly, helping a client to verify that the earnings on file with the Social Security Administration are accurate and that they really are getting full credit for all of their earnings years is another important service that financial advisors can provide.

Page 3 of an individuals Social Security statement details the earnings that the Administration has on file for each year since an individual began working.

In most instances, the information is accurate, but it is not terribly uncommon for earnings information to be missing or incorrect.

Among other reasons, errors can occur because an employer misreported earnings , reported earnings using an incorrect Social Security number , or because the worker changed their name and didnt report the change to the Social Security Administration .

Nerd Note:

In the event that an error or omission in a workers earnings history is spotted, the mistake should be corrected as soon as possible. To do so, workers should first gather evidence to support the fact that earnings are missing and/or improperly reported.

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Early Or Late Social Security Statements Are Getting A Much

If youre old enough and have worked long enough, you may recall getting an annual Social Security statement in the mail, about three months before your birthday, with estimations of your benefits.

But budget cuts put a stop to the mailings for most workers. Now, if you want to see your personal Social Security statement, youll have to create an online account. If you dont have an account, or you have one but havent checked your statement lately, you should. The Social Security Administration has given the statement a makeover. Its shorter streamlined down to two pages from the previous four and, thankfully, better written.

I give them a lot of credit for trying to make this more user-friendly and trying to explain a variety of things like disability and survivor benefits, said Joel Eskovitz, director of Social Security and Savings at AARP Public Policy Institute. Its a lot of information to convey and generally speaking, I think theyve done a really good job.

The most useful change to the statement is a color bar chart that shows the estimated monthly retirement payments youd get each year starting at age 62 when you first become eligible. Previous statements just showed the monthly amount at 62, your full retirement age, and an estimate of what youd receive by waiting until 70. The increases stop when you reach 70.

How To Check Your Earning Records

You can access your Social Security earning records from the age of 18 and above by creating a MySocialSecurity account which will be linked to your payment history.

To access your records, you must first log into www.ssa.gov/myaccount, where you will find estimates of your retirement, disability and survivors benefits for the future.

Errors on your account must be corrected within just over three years or they could prevent Social Security funds being given to you.

To give some context as to where in the US you are likely to receive the most and least amount of Social Security benefits, the list below details the five states that are expected to see the highest average Social Security benefits in the following year.

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Using Your Benefit Estimates

As your statement will show, your Social Security retirement benefits will vary depending on when you claim them before or after your full retirement age . The longer you wait to start receiving payments, the higher your benefit amount will be.

However, it’s not always better to wait until your full retirement age to claim your Social Security benefits. If you need your Social Security benefits for living expenses, or you have a health condition that makes it unlikely that you will live past age 75 or so, you may be better off collecting your benefits sooner rather than later. You can use a calculator at the Social Security website to see which retirement age makes the most financial sense for you .

For comprehensive practical information about how and when to claim Social Security benefits, see Social Security, Medicare & Government Pensions, by Joseph Matthews with Dorothy Matthews Berman .

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  • How To Estimate Your Social Security Income

    How to Transfer or Correct Your Earnings on Your Social ...

    Two facts are knownSocial Security benefits are not guaranteed, and some changes will be necessary to keep the system solvent in the future as millions of baby boomers retire and begin to receive their Social Security benefits. Though these facts create uncertainty, its also true that the quality of your retirement depends on your planningand you must start planning somewhere.

    A good starting point is to figure out the dollar amount of the retirement benefits to which all of your years of Social Security contributions entitle you under current law. There are four ways to do this:

  • Visit a local Social Security office to get a record of your taxed Social Security earnings and an estimate of retirement benefits .
  • Visit the Social Security website and use one of its online benefit calculators to determine your retirement estimate based on your earnings record.
  • Wait until you decide to start receiving benefits, and let the SSA calculate the amount for you. However, this doesnt help you plan, and though the SSA can usually be counted on to determine benefits accurately, mistakes are sometimes made.
  • Calculate your own benefits using the step-by-step process described in this article. When you understand a few basic concepts, its not that difficult. One advantage of calculating your own benefits is that you can make decisions and consider trade-offs, such as whether you can afford to retire early or how much you can increase your benefits by continuing to work.
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    Check The Social Security Administration’s Math

    Your statement includes a record of the earnings on which you’ve paid taxes and an estimate of the benefits you will receive at various retirement ages: 62, 67, and 70. It is always wise for you to check the SSA’s numbers. Don’t be surprised if you uncover an error. Some government-watchers estimate that the SSA makes mistakes on at least 3% of the total official earnings records it keeps.

    When you check your record, make sure that the Social Security number noted on your earnings statement is your own, and make sure the earned income amounts listed on the agency’s records mesh with your own records of earnings as listed on your income tax forms or pay stubs.

    Benefit Reduction If Taken Before Full Retirement Age

    When calculating benefits for early retirement, there are one or two calculations, depending on how early benefits are taken. Assuming a normal retirement age of 67, the age of 62 is the earliest year a person can receive benefits or 60 months early.

    The benefit is reduced by 5/9 of 1% for each month before the normal retirement age , up to 36 months. If the number of months exceeds 36, then the benefit is further reduced 5/12 of 1% per month.

    For example, let’s say that a person wants to retire at 62, leading to a 60-month reduction from the normal retirement age of 67. The first 36 months would be calculated as 36 months times 5/9 of 1% plus 24 months times 5/12 of 1%.

    • First 36 months: 5/9 = .5555 * 1% = .005555 * 36 months = .19999 or 20%*
    • Remaining 24 months: 5/12 = .416666 * 1% = .00416666 * 24 months = .0999 or 10%
    • In other words, benefits would be reduced by 30% if taken at age 62.

    *The results were rounded and multiplied by 100 to create a percentage.

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    Lost Or Stolen Federal Payments

    Report your lost, missing, or stolen federal check to the agency that issued the payment. It’s usually one of these paying agencies. If your documentation indicates it’s a different agency, and you need its contact information, look in the A-Z Index of U.S. Government Departments and Agencies.

    To get an update on your claim, contact the Treasury Department Philadelphia Financial Center at 1-855-868-0151, option 1.

    Future Earnings Assumptions Embedded In Projected Retirement Benefits On The Social Security Statement

    Simply Money: Getting your Social Security statements online

    The actual Social Security Retirement Benefit to which an individual will ultimately be entitled can be off from the projected Retirement Benefit shown on a Social Security statement today because of more than just incorrect inflation assumptions. This is because a workers projected Social Security Retirement Benefit, as shown on their Social Security statement, is also based on certain assumptions about future earnings.

    More specifically, the Social Security Administration generally assumes that whatever a worker earned last year will be what they continue to earn, in inflation-adjusted dollars, each year in the future until they reach their retirement age.

    Example #2: Arthur is a 50-year-old sales rep who typically earns about $65,000 a year.

    But in 2020, the most recent year for which earnings are on file with the Social Security Administration, Arthur landed a once-in-a-lifetime mega-deal, earning more than the Social Security maximum wage base of $137,700 for 2020.

    Accordingly, and despite the fact that Arthur fully anticipates future earnings of roughly $65,000 per year, his 2021 Social Security statement will calculate his benefit using future earnings of $137,700 per year for the next 17 years .

    And if a worker has no earnings from either last year or the year before last, the Social Security Administration will assume that there will be no earnings between now and the workers retirement age.

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    How To Check Your Social Security Statement And Why You Should

    Kevin Mercadante|

    Modified date: Apr. 19, 2019

    If youre investing for your retirement, you shouldnt forget about the income youll earn from Social Security.

    Even though it may be decades away, its possible to get an estimate as to what your retirement benefits will be.

    All you have to do is get a copy of your Social Security Statement. Its easy to do, and its an absolutely necessary step in planning for your retirement.

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