Interview by: Heidi Frankel with David Freitag ~
fyi50+: Some recent articles have mentioned enhancements on the www.SSA.gov website, include new Social Security benefits statements, two-factor authentication for security, and new reports explaining your benefits. Dave, can you fill us in on some essential things about these changes?
Dave: The people in the Social Security office have been hard at work making life easier for people to learn more about one of their most important assets in retirement. The new “Blue Bar”: complete Social Security statement is an excellent example of that hard work.
In the past, the old “Green Line” form reported three benefits for you at age 62 (full retirement age) and age 70. The “Blue Bar” form, introduced at the end of 2021, includes the benefit options between 62 and 70. It also links to important parts of the SSA.gov and medicare.gov sites. These links make finding topics on the SSA.gov website more accessible.
Another great addition to the SSA.gov website are the factsheets. These sheets answer some of the most common questions people between ages 18-28, 49-60, 61-69, and 70+ may have Social Security benefits. Plus, the factsheets are available in both English and Spanish.
If you are a new worker, there is a factsheet. Want to find ways to increase your future benefits? There is a factsheet for you. If you are a teacher or government worker in Texas, there’s a factsheet. Plus, there is a factsheet for workers who want to know more about Medicare.
To find the factsheets, go to https://www.ssa.gov/myaccount/statement.html and scroll to the bottom of the webpage.
While checking out the factsheets on SSA.gov, sign up for the blog articles. The articles are timely updates on issues impacting all workers paying Social Security taxes. They are free to all and very informative.
Finally, tax time is approaching, which is always a good time to double-check your earnings history. If you have a myAccount on SSA.gov, it is easy to see if your earnings history is up to date. Remember, your retirement benefits are based on the system’s highest 35 years of contributions. If the earning history is not accurate, your benefit could be lower than it should be. Generally, there is a limited time allowed by the SSA to correct an error in your earning history.
Check out these features today. If you do not have a myAccount, set one up! You will be surprised at all the info to be learned and happy you did.
Here are the various fact sheets available on the Social Security website:
- Retirement Ready (Fact Sheet for Workers Ages 18 – 48 – [English| Spanish ]
- Retirement Ready (Fact Sheet for Workers Ages 49 – 60 – [English| Spanish ]
- Retirement Ready (Fact Sheet for Workers Ages 61 – 69 – [English | Spanish ]
- Retirement Ready (Fact Sheet for Workers Ages 70+ – [English| Spanish ]
- Social Security Basics for New Workers – [English| Spanish ]
- How You Become Eligible for Benefits – [English | Spanish ]
- Additional Work Can Increase Your Future Benefits – [English | Spanish ]
- You Have Earnings Not Covered by Social Security – [English | Spanish ]
- Medicare Ready – [ English | Spanish]