Social Security rolls out new, shorter statements – Community News
Social Security

Social Security rolls out new, shorter statements

What you need to know

  • A small percentage of online account holders have started receiving the updated Social Security Statement.
  • The updated statement shows the effects of starting benefits every year between the ages of 62 and 70.
  • The new statement, on which the SSA is still collecting feedback, is on two pages of four.

The Social Security Administration has initiated a “soft launch” for a redesigned Social Security statement targeting a “small percentage” of my online Social Security account users who are currently not receiving benefits, an SSA spokeswoman told ThinkAdvisor on Thursday.

The soft launch began on May 1 and represents the “first step” for the launch, she said. “During the soft launch, we will continue to collect feedback and make updates as needed,” she added.

The details were provided two days after Jeffrey Levine, chief planning officer at Buckingham Wealth Partners, tweeted that he received the newly designed statement, which showed two important new features.

First, the redesigned statement has two pages, instead of four. Second, instead of just 62, 67, and 70-year-olds, the new format shows what the estimated monthly benefits would be for each of the nine years if you start receiving benefits ages 62-70 — in a personalized image with a series of horizontal bars.

“Hey #fintwit!” he tweeted. “Has ANYONE seen a new format for social security statements? I just pulled my statement and it is TOTALLY different. Same basic information, but 2 pages instead of 4, coloring is ‘off’ and has a picture in the top right corner showing the retirement benefit every year 62-70!”

Levine continued with tweet redacted images of the two pages of the redesigned statement he received.

Michael Finke, a wealth management professor at The American College of Financial Services, gave a thumbs-up to the statement’s redesign on Wednesday.

“The example Jeff Levine showed on Twitter provided a much clearer graphical illustration of the income increase from deferred claims,” Finke told ThinkAdvisor. “This can help employees recognize the benefit of waiting to claim benefits to increase lifetime income payments, which are even more valuable in a low interest rate environment.”