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Kohl and Nelson Disappointed Social Security Statements Unavailable for Most Workers

Press Release

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Location: Washington, DC

In a response to a push from Senate Special Committee on Aging Chairman Herb Kohl (D-Wis.) and U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.), the Social Security Administration (SSA) announced it will soon resume mailing benefits statements to some workers and plans to eventually make the information available to all workers.

"It's always important to look for ways to cut costs, but there's a good reason for the law requiring that these statements be mailed to workers. People rely on their statements for an accurate picture of their earnings and projected benefits," Kohl said. "It is vital that SSA does more to inform people without Internet access, many of whom will likely rely on Social Security in retirement."

"If businesses are required to send quarterly statements to all employees with 401(k)s, then the government should continue to do the same with annual Social Security statements," said Nelson. "While the decision is a step in the right direction, it still doesn't make sense to send to some folks but not to others."

Last month, Kohl and Nelson wrote to SSA Commissioner Michael J. Astrue with questions and concerns about the agency's decision to suspend mailing the statutorily required earnings and benefits statements to more than 150 million American workers. That letter can be found here.

In response, Astrue wrote that he was "happy to announce that we plan to resume the mailing of paper statements to workers 60 and over in February and to a select group of younger workers by the end of the year."
The SSA response also indicates plans to resume first-time mailings to workers at age 25 and the introduction of an online statement service that will provide workers will immediate access to the information. The full response from SSA can be found here.


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