For 25 years the Social Security Administration has mailed yearly statements to beneficiaries and workers. What many people haven’t noticed is that in 2011 the SSA stopped mailing these statements altogether. According to the SSA, this decision was made to cut costs. It was also done as part of the Administration’s push to more electronic access.
Moreover, not only does the SSA no longer send you a statement, you cannot get a free paper statement even when you ask. You can request a Certified Itemized Statement of Earnings by completing a form and paying a $134.00 fee. The form is available here. The SSA still allows you to get free access to this information, but only through its website at www.ssa.gov/myaccount.
Recently, the Social Security Advisory Board took issue with the SSA’s current position. The Board notes that according to the census, roughly 28 percent of Americans do not have access to the internet. It further notes the importance of these statements in assisting people in planning for their retirement and providing workers an opportunity to correct any errors in their earnings record. The Board recommends that the SSA begin allowing free copies of these reports upon request.