What my Social Security Statement Pages Look Like and Why You Should Sign Up For Your Online Account

Having a my Social Security account can help you quickly get important information about your earnings and benefits.

The Know Your Social Security Act has not yet been passed by Congress. The bill would help Americans plan better for their retirement by having the Social Security Administration (SSA) mail annual earnings statements to Americans between the ages of 25 and 60 years old currently paying into Social Security. 

The Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1989 required the SSA to mail the statements starting in 1999 but the administration suspended mailing the statements in 2010 to save money. Statements today are mailed to workers aged 60 and older 3 months before their birthday. Others can still be mailed the statement upon request

Your Social Security statement contains critical information about your Social Security earnings, contributions, and future benefits. How far away are you from your 60th birthday? Can you wait until age 60 to have the U.S. mail deliver your statement? If you cannot wait, then consider creating my Social Security online account. That way you will have ongoing access to the information from Social Security including updates to your statement. 

If you already created your online Social Security account you may have noticed your statement went through a major makeover in 2021. If you have not yet created the online account here is a look at a sample statement. This statement consists of only 2 pages. The new version, however, has the same Information about your retirement, disability, and survivor benefits from Social Security based on your earnings history. What I find most interesting is the detailed portrayal of your projected personalized monthly retirement benefits. The benefits are displayed for the year you decide to begin to draw your benefits and range from ages 62 to 70.

Your Social Security data is curated and waiting for you to create your online account.A PDF and an online link can assist you in creating your account. The PDF choice provides a detailed narrative style explaining how to create the online account and why you should do so. The link option includes the same information but further links and a graphic to address the creation of your account.

I encourage you and all members of your family over the age of 18 and paying into a Social Security account to take the time to create their or her my Social Security account. Each person has to set up an individual account. The Social Security Administration’s policy is no one can create or use an account on your behalf, even with written permission. 

Here are some benefits derived from the creation of the Social Security online account: 

  • Validating your work earnings record 
  • Confirming how much money has been paid to Social Security 
  • Obtaining an estimated of your future payments from Social Security 
  • Knowing what your disability monthly payments may be 
  • Understanding payments your family would be entitled to if you died
  • Sharing address changes or direct deposit information 
  • Getting a replacement Social Security card, Medicare card, or a benefit verification letter 

Another important reason to create your online Social Security account is to protect you and your family from identity theft. The SSA supports a 2-factor authentication for online access which is good but some identity thieves equipped with your data may still open an online account intended for you. The best defense against these identity thieves is to be proactive and not delay in creating your account thus denying them an opportunity to do so.

If you’ve placed a security freeze, fraud alert, or both on your credit report, you will not be able to open the online account until you remove the freeze first. The SSA uses information in your credit file to verify your identity. Once you establish the account, you can freeze your credit report again. 

Your retirement may be years away and there is a lot of work ahead for you. Go online and sign on for my Social Security to get one of the easiest tasks finished today.

About the Author

Francis Xavier (FX) Bergmeister, CLU®, ChFC®, CASL®, ChSNC® has been Certified Financial Planner® for 30 years. He is a graduate of the Wharton School and earned a Doctor of Arts from George Mason University. He provides retirement seminars thru Federal Career Experts.