The Social Security Administration has announced several changes that may impact you, even if you don’t currently receive Social Security Benefits.
- Elimination of Statements: In an effort to cut costs Social Security Statements are no longer mailed to all workers and retirees. Also, you can no longer request a copy online or by telephone. You can view an estimate of your Social Security Benefits by using the SSA’s retirement Estimator at http://ssa.gov/estimator.
- Elimination of the do-over option: Individuals will no longer be able to begin payments at age 62, pay back all the benefits received at age 70 without interest, and then reclaim at a higher rate due to delayed claiming. Under the new rules, Social Security beneficiaries may withdraw an application for retirement benefits only within 12 months of their first Social Security payment and are limited to one withdrawal per lifetime.
- Retroactive benefit suspensions halted: Beneficiaries will no longer be able to retroactively suspend benefits and pay back money already received in return for higher payments going forward. Retirees will still be able to suspend their benefits temporarily and restart them later, which can result in bigger SS checks to account for the months or years in which payment wasn’t received.
- No longer issuing paper checks: Retirees who applied for Social Security Benefits on or after May 1, 2011 will not have the option of receiving a paper check. Payments can be directly deposited into a bank or credit union account or loaded onto a prepaid Direct Express Debit Mastercard.
If you have any questions regarding these changes or any other issues visit the Social Security Administration website at http://ssa.gov or call toll free at 1-877-405-0414.
To obtain your annual Social Security statement or estimate your benefits:
- www.socialsecurity.gov click on “Estimate your Retirement Benefits