No More Annual Statements from Social Security

Multiple sources have reported that the Social Security Administration will not be sending annual statements for the remainder of the fiscal year (Sept.) and will only send statements to those 60 or older next year. This is, of course, a cost savings initiative with likely savings of $90M over the 2 years.

I’m all for less waste, but I have to say that my annual statement from the SSA is one of the only things I look forward to receiving from the government each year. Although the information enclosed is not completely clear, the history of earned income and projections of potential payouts in the future or in the event of my death are both encouraging and life affirming. I dutifully save each and every one of them in a folder. Although there is talk of making the data available online, for me these annual statements will be sorely missed.

UPDATE (4/12/11): Recently released research from the Center for Retirement Research
at Boston College suggests that the statements increase worker knowledge of benefits. Just another point demonstrating that this choice is wrong-headed.

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