THE BLOG BULLETIN .COM



Thursday, April 7, 2011

S.S. STOPS SENDING STATEMENTS


RETIREMENT READING GOES GREEN:
In this Feb. 11, 2005 file photo, trays of printed social security checks
wait to be mailed from the U.S. Treasury's Financial Management services
facility in Philadelphia. Social Security will stop mailing annual earnings
statements to workers this month as a budget-cutting move and to direct
more people to the agency's website. (A.P. Photo/Bradley C. Bower)


By Stephen Ohlemacher
Associated Press

(AP) WASHINGTON - - Those yearly statements that Social Security mails out — here's what you'd get if you retired at 62, at 66, at 70 — will soon stop arriving in workers' mailboxes. It's an effort to save money and steer more people to the agency's website.

The government is working to provide the statements online by the end of the year, if it can resolve security issues, Social Security Commissioner Michael Astrue said. If that fails, the agency will resume the paper statements, which cost $70 million a year to mail, he said.

"We'll provide it, we expect, one way or another, before the end of the calendar year," Astrue told The Associated Press. "We're just right now trying to figure out the most cost-effective and convenient way to provide that to the American public."

The statements, mailed to 150 million people each year, project future benefit payments, helping workers plan for retirement.

The decision to suspend the mailings was unrelated to the talk of a possible partial government shutdown. It was, however, related to the agency's operating budget, which has essentially been frozen at 2010 levels — minus about $350 million in economic stimulus money the agency had been using to handle claims.

FULL STORY HERE.

___
Online:
Social Security: http://www.ssa.gov/
Benefits estimator: http://www.ssa.gov/estimator/

* * *

Copyright © 2011 Stephen Ohlemacher/A.P.
First posted: 4/7/11
Original headline:
Social Security Stopping Mailed Earning Statements