Well, it took a while, but Social Security statements are now online, as promised.
In addition, starting last February, the Social Security administration started mailing statements out again to workers age 60 and over.
I tried signing up for my statement by creating a “My Social Security” account at www.ssa.gov. For security purposes, you’ll need to take a security quiz that may tax your memory – it sure did take me on a trip down financial memory lane. You may have seen this kind of security when you sign up for account access where security is needed. Information from your financial past is turned into a multiple choice quiz, which sometimes includes the zinger “None of the above” answer. For example, you may be asked to confirm an address where you’ve lived in the past, or for a financial institution where you applied for a mortgage in some remote year like 2003, or where you’ve been employed. If you submit wrong answers you may not be able to access your account without visiting a Social Security office. Fortunately, I got through the first time, which was kind of miraculous given my hobby refinancing throughout the 2000s as interest rates were dropping. (Which bank did I refinance with in 2003 vs. 2004?)
There are some things to really like about the new information once you can access it.
- The on-screen summary of your projected benefits is easy to read.
- The statement looks pretty much like it used to.
- You can see your earnings history online.
Once you’ve gone through the security check, you then just need your login and password to enter your account and check your balance online.
Remember to check your earnings history periodically to make sure it’s been recorded correctly. Since you won’t get a copy in the mail, you might include a check of your Social Security statement when you order and review your credit reports. Mark your calendar to do this annually.