Saving $70 million annually in paper, printing, and postage, paper Social Security statements have been eliminated for most participating workers, but is going online legal? asks Reuters.
This Social Security Administration’s (SSA) move to online statements may violate federal law, which requires that personal statements be mailed to all participating workers over the age of 25 under amendments to the Social Security Act that were passed in 1989 and 1990.
Social Security advocates say that the shift to online raises many issues. For example, one in five adults do not use the Internet. Also seniors, non-native English speakers, low-income, and less educated households are less likely to have access.
Being able to access your Social Security statement is important because there is a clear link between the receipt of the statement and understanding Social Security benefits. More than half of those who read their statements report that they increased their saving rate, revised their financial plans for the future, and/or sought the advice of a financial adviser.
In the 1980s, the late U.S. senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan of New York, who first championed the idea of a statement, said, “Every month, in every paycheck, we see money withheld for Social Security, but we hear nary a word from the Social Security Administration.”
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