How online social security statements work
Sep 12, 2012, 8:29 a.m.
Gone are the old days when you used to have to wait for your yearly statements to be mailed to you before you could check the status of your social security retirement benefits. These days, the advent of the internet has made things far simpler. You might even be surprised just how simple.
How do I sign up for social security statements online?
If you're interested in taking advantage of the convenience of keeping tabs on your social security benefits from the comfort of your own home, all you have to do is sign up to access your statements online. To do that, just follow the steps outlined below.
- Visit the social security online website from a private computer. Never use a public computer to set up an account or to access your information, since this can leave you wide open to a computer hacker getting ahold of your critical information.
- Next, you'll be prompted to create an account with a user ID and a password that you'll use in the future to log in. In order to complete this process, you have to have a valid email address, a mailing address in the United States, your social security number, and be over the age of 18.
- In order to confirm you are who you say you are and be allowed to establish an online account, you'll be asked to answer a number of multiple choice questions that only you should know the answer to. For example, if you've recently applied for a mortgage or applied for a car loan, you may be asked to validate some of the specific details. These questions come from the social security administration and Experian credit bureau. You may also be asked to verify past or current residences.
- Finally, you will create your own user ID and password for accessing your account. The social security site requires that your password be a minimum length and contain at least one number and one symbol (such as ! or @ or #). Once you've completed this step, your online registration will be complete.
What can I do when I create an online social security account?
Once your account is created, you gain instant access to a number of self-serve features previously not available unless you received your yearly statement in the mail. By accessing your account online, you no longer have to spend time on the phone to get access to your social security information.
Anytime access to your monthly retirement benefits. If you haven't yet retired, you can see the estimated amount of money you will receive each month from social security upon retirement. This is broken down into three categories: benefits you'll receive upon full retirement age, benefits you'll receive at age 70, and benefits you'll receive if you retire early.
A listing of your last reported earnings, as well as a year-by-year breakdown of earnings throughout your working career.
Since paper statements are no longer mailed out by the government in an effort to save money on paper, postage, and administrative costs, it is now even more essential that you sign up for online access to your social security retirement benefits.
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