Paperless S.S. updates

Posted: April 08, 2011

WASHINGTON - Those yearly statements that Social Security mails out - here's what you'd get if you retired at 62, at 66, at 70 - will soon stop arriving in workers' mailboxes. It's an effort to save money and steer more people to the agency's website.

The government is working to provide the statements online by the end of the year, if it can resolve security issues, Social Security Commissioner Michael Astrue said. If that fails, the agency will resume the paper statements, which cost $70 million a year to mail, he said.

The statements, mailed to 150 million people each year, project future benefit payments, helping workers plan for retirement.

The decision to suspend the mailings was unrelated to the talk of a possible partial government shutdown. It was, however, related to the agency's operating budget, which has essentially been frozen at 2010 levels - minus about $350 million in economic stimulus money the agency had been using to handle claims.

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