Buchanan, Larson Introduce Know Your Social Security Act
WASHINGTON – Today, House Ways and Means Committee Member Vern Buchanan and Social Security Subcommittee Chairman John B. Larson (D-CT) introduced the Know Your Social Security Act. This bill helps Americans plan for retirement by making it easier to access critical information about their Social Security earnings, contributions and future benefits.
“Too many hardworking Americans enter retirement without enough savings,” Buchanan said. “Because Social Security is the primary source of income for a majority of seniors, it is imperative they have a full understanding of their benefits as they plan for retirement.”
“All workers deserve to have a full understanding of what they’re contributing to Social Security and what they can expect to receive. That’s why it’s vital we pass the Know Your Social Security Act to ensure every worker gets a Social Security Statement mailed to them,” said Larson.
The Know Your Social Security Act requires the Social Security Administration (SSA) to resume mailing annual earnings statements to the 180 million Americans workers – between the ages of 25 and 60 years old – currently paying into Social Security, making it easier for them to keep track of their finances and plan accordingly. Despite a requirement in law to do so, the Social Security Administration abruptly suspended mailing these statements to the vast majority of working Americans in 2010.
Specifically, Social Security’s annual mailed statements will include the following information:
- How much a worker has earned in a given year
- A worker’s contributions to both Social Security and Medicare
- An estimate of the worker’s Social Security benefit at full retirement age
- The Social Security benefit a worker’s family receives when they pass away
While the SSA is supposed to be mailing these statements to nearly 180 million Americans, it is only mailing them to the 19 million people aged 60 and older not currently receiving benefits. Instead, SSA has urged the remaining 161 million individuals to access their information through the creation of an online portal. Unfortunately, only 16.7 million people have used the portal to receive their statements. As a result, more than 140 million people are not getting annual statements or don’t use the online portal to access vital financial planning information.
The Congressman also noted that according to the Federal Communications Commission, 19 million Americans are still living without internet access and many are concerned about sharing sensitive information, such as their Social Security number, online.
In 2018, Congressman Buchanan wrote a letter to the Social Security Inspector General, expressing his concerns about the SSA’s decision to suspend mailing annual statements to workers between the ages of 25 and 60.
In the 116th Congress, the Know Your Social Security Act was unanimously approved by the House Committee on Ways and Means.