Do you want to get the most out of your pension benefits from Social Security? Make sure your work history and statements are correct.
Retirement Tip of the Week: Review your Social Security statements to make sure your information is accurate, including your salary history and personal information. This will prevent headaches when it’s time to make claims, especially if your work history is incorrect and results in a lower payment each month.
Pension benefits from social security are calculated using a person’s highest 35 years of earnings, which means that anyone who has worked longer will only see the highest salaries in their record. Anyone who worked less than 35 years would see a reduced benefit.
(These requirements should not be confused with the 10 years a person must work to be eligible for Social Security Administration pension benefits.)
When the earnings history is incorrect, recipients may see a reduced amount in their monthly Social Security checks. A general report by the SSA inspector found $ 1.2 trillion between 1937 and 2012 was not credited to beneficiaries due to reporting errors, according to AARP.
There are a few types of errors, including incorrectly reported earnings, or just lack of work history in general. Employers may have reported income incorrectly or used the wrong CPR number and name with the Social Security Administration. In some cases, errors occur if individuals changed their names and did not inform the Social Security Administration.
Workers can quickly catch these bugs if they have one online Social Security Administration account. They should also check their work history regularly, e.g. once a year.
Once an error is found, find evidence of the error (such as a W-2 or tax return indicating the correct amount of earnings) and report it to the Social Security Administration immediately, who will “cooperate with you to correct your record. “said the agency.
Sometimes you may not be able to find supporting documentation, in which case you should write down as much information as you remember, including the name of your employer, the dates you worked, how much you earned and the name and social security number you used. when you were employed there, the management said. It will try to reach out to these employers to get the correct information, but the process can be lengthy.
The earlier the error is found, the easier it will be to correct. The Social Security Administration states earnings records “can be corrected at any time up to three years, three months and 15 days after the year in which the salary was paid or self-employed income was obtained. ” After that deadline, earnings can only be adjusted special circumstancessuch as correcting the information so that it matches tax returns showing the correct salary or self-employment income, or if an investigation of the error has begun before the deadline.
Along with the Social Security Administration’s website, workers wishing to correct their earnings history can call the agency at 1-800-772-1213. An automated service is available 24 hours a day, but a representative will be able to assist between 7am and 7pm Monday to Friday. You may experience a long wait, the administration warned.