Social Security Announces a New Kind of Statement

Social Security Announces a New Kind of Statement

Social Security bureaucracy just got a little easier. 

The Social Security Administration (SSA) this week announced a new change in how recipients’ statements look.

In the SSA’s press release, Kilolo Kijakazi, Acting Commissioner of Social Security, addressed how the new statement looks.

“One of my top priorities is to provide information to people in clear and plain terms about Social Security’s programs and services,” Acting Commissioner Kijakazi said in the release. “The streamlined Social Security Statement contains clear messaging and makes it easier to find information at a glance, helping to simplify our complex programs for the public.”

Features on the new statement include information in “easy-to-find labeled boxes,” retirement benefit estimates more prominently featured, and the recipient’s earnings record is easier to find.

The SSA also described the new statement as “one of the most effective tools people can use to learn about their earnings and future Social Security benefits. This fresh look will allow millions of people to see their earnings information and estimates of future benefits quickly and securely.”

The new statement came about, SSA said, as a result of “extensive research, review, and testing.”

Yahoo Finance had additional commentary on the new Social Security statements.

“These services are not just reserved for seniors. All U.S. citizens eighteen years of age or older can view their Social Security statement online. You will have to create a “mySocialSecurity” account first. Those sixty years of age or older who do not receive benefits and do not have an online account will receive this new statement in the mail three months before their next birthday.”

Last month saw the arrival of the latest Social Security Trustees Report, which projected that the primary fund that funds Social Security will begin to “dissipate” by 2034, which is a year earlier than originally thought. That means not that Social Security would go away at that point, but rather that if nothing else is done, benefits would need to be reduced.

The Senior Citizens League, an organization that issues projections about the following year’s Social Security cost-of-living adjustment (COLA), last month called for a fourth stimulus package, this time aimed at helping seniors.

The call came in an email to supporters, stating that the group plans to petition Congress to pass another round of stimulus, to help seniors hurt by rising inflation.

However, there is little indication that there is much support in Congress for such a move, especially as the parties negotiate on whether to pass President Joe Biden’s reconciliation package, which does not at present include any type of across-the-board stimulus checks. The package would likely include some type of extension of the expanded Child Tax Credit, however.

Stephen Silver, a technology writer for The National Interest, is a journalist, essayist, and film critic, who is also a contributor to The Philadelphia Inquirer, Philly Voice, Philadelphia Weekly, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Living Life Fearless, Backstage magazine, Broad Street Review and Splice Today. The co-founder of the Philadelphia Film Critics Circle, Stephen lives in suburban Philadelphia with his wife and two sons. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenSilver.

Image: Reuters