Interview by: Heidi Frankel ~
The latest social security news involves some major website updates, so fyi50+ sat down with David Freitag to guide you through the changes.
fyi50+: My husband and I were reviewing his Social Security myAccount recently and we noticed there had been some changes to the Social Security website. Dave, how about an update on these changes? Why are they important?
Dave Freitag: Heidi, the www.ssa.gov website is something all seniors should have saved in their web browser’s favorites. Considering the importance of your Social Security benefits in retirement, everyone should be knowledgeable about how the system works.
One of the most important things you can do is create a myAccount to keep track of your benefits and place a digital two-factor security barrier between your account and the hackers who want access to your Social Security records.
As featured in the news, those telephone calls about your Social Security number being suspended are bogus. The hackers are out there and looking for new ways to gain access to your account.
The use of the SSA.GOV website is increasing every day, and, as a result, the Social Security Administration is working overtime to improve the site and make it easier to use with some valuable updates.
Give this link a look and check out the handy new fact sheets for workers of different ages: Get Your Social Security Statement | my Social Security | SSA.
These new fact sheets are great ways to stay informed about your benefits and answer many questions. Plus, the fact sheets are available in both English and Spanish.
These new fact sheets include:
- Retirement Ready (for workers between 18 and 48)
- Retirement Ready (for workers between 49 and 60)
- Retirement Ready (for workers between 61 and 69)
- Retirement Ready (for workers 70 and up)
- Social Security Basics for New Workers
- How You Become Eligible for Benefits
- Additional Work Can Increase Your Future Benefits
- You Have Earnings Not Covered by Social Security
- Medicare Ready
Another update relates to the Social Security Statement, which is undergoing and entire reconstruction. The “Green Line Form” is now the shorter “Blue Bar Form.” The Blue Bar Form has some excellent web links to informative pages in ssa.gov.
Plus, with the Blue Bar Form, you can also see your projected monthly benefit at all ages between 62 and 70. The old Green Line Form only provided values for age 62, full retirement age, and age 70. This new feature is a welcome enhancement for workers nearing retirement. You can now get these estimates in one place rather than referring to the online calculator and running the numbers manually.
Now that tax season is behind us, it is a good time to check your Full Social Security Statement and make sure you received credit for the payroll taxes you paid last year.