News From Terre Haute, Indiana

July 27, 2009

Social security: Statement valuable tool to keep track of earnings

By Brian Hewitt

If you’re age 25 or older, pay Social Security taxes and are not yet receiving monthly benefits, you should get an automatic Social Security statement in the mail each year about two to three months before your birthday. The statement is a valuable tool to keep track of your annual earnings, as well as to help you plan your financial future.

But if your earnings don’t meet the threshold for filing a federal tax return, you might not be receiving your annual Social Security statement. Social Security would like to make sure that you know you’re entitled to one.

Everyone who has worked and paid Social Security tax is entitled to receive a statement. So, if you don’t get one automatically in the mail, you can request one from Social Security — and the easiest way to do that is online.

Just visit www.socialsecurity.gov/mystatement and select the “Need to request a Statement?” banner. You’ll need to fill in the following information to make your request:

• Your name as shown on your Social Security card;

• Your Social Security number;

• Your date of birth;

• Your place of birth; and

• Your mother’s maiden name — last name only (to help identify you).

You also can provide the following information to make your estimate more accurate:

• Your last year’s earnings and an estimate of your current and future earnings; and

• The age you plan to stop working.

Once you make your request, Social Security will mail you a statement, which you should receive within two to four weeks. Give it a careful look to make sure your earnings and information are reported correctly, and contact Social Security if you find anything amiss.

After you review your statement, it’s a good idea to keep it with your other important papers. And if you’d like to go one step further in your retirement planning, visit our online Retirement Estimator at www.socialsecurity.gov/estimator, where you can get an instant estimate of your future benefits based on your earnings record and plug in various retirement age scenarios.

Whether retirement is just around the corner or a long way down the road, Social Security is ready to serve you at www.socialsecurity.gov.