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Online Social Security Statement In Limbo 160

Posted by timothy
from the don't-worry-your-iou-is-totally-safe dept.
coondoggie writes "While the debate over Social Security benefits is heating up in Congress, one of the most basic ways everyone interacts with the agency — the yearly Social Security Statement — is in limbo as the agency struggles to move it online. The Social Security Statement had been issued every year since 2000 to more than 150 million workers serving as the government's key way of communicating with workers about benefits, earnings records and how much retirement money they have. The statement is also a key tool for communicating with the public about the long-term financial challenges the Social Security system faces. However, whether you realize it or not, the SSA suspended mailings of the statement in March citing budgetary concerns."
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Online Social Security Statement In Limbo

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  • by Aquitaine (102097) <sam AT iamsam DOT org> on Friday July 08, 2011 @08:20PM (#36701364) Homepage

    In a former job around 6-7 years ago, I worked for a major university that received a lot of state and federal grants, many of which were from the SSA and which included provisions about operating web sites on behalf of the SSA. These were not complex web sites, but they were totally clueless (as was everyone from the SSA that I ever dealt with, though in fairness we only dealt with two or three specific branches). We would get phone calls at 6AM demanding that we remove the SSA logo from a web site that we had done on their behalf, and then a phone call four hours later demanding that we put it back.

    Even by government standards, these people had terrible attitudes. Every meeting with them began and ended with the SSA having the attitude that they were performing the most vital government service in existence, and therefore they knew everything about how it should be done -- not necessarily a bad position, but by definition not a terribly logical one if you are hiring outside groups to do certain jobs for you.

    The paper statements they send out are a hoot, too. They have a little insert that says something to the effect of 'I've heard that Social Security will be insolvent by the year 20xx (usually around 2030). Will I stop receiving payments?'

    'No! Social security will continue to operate as normal. If Congress does not authorize additional funding, you can expect to receive seventy cents on the dollar.'

    Their definition of 'insolvent' must be 'nobody receives anything,' but I can lose 30% of what I'm 'owed' without government assistance.

  • Re:Sigh (Score:5, Interesting)

    by hedwards (940851) on Friday July 08, 2011 @08:25PM (#36701382)

    That's not true, it would be true if politicians hadn't figured out that they could borrow from it so that they wouldn't have to raise taxes or cut spending during their terms, then skip off to retirement with their Federal pensions while everybody else gets benefits cut.

    At this point the Feds owe quite a bit of money to Social Security, but with the GOP refusing to allow for tax hikes or to cut the large sources of spending, it's unlikely to get fixed before things collapse.

    But, OTOH it's not likely that people will get nothing, they'll just git a fraction of what was promised.

  • by rubycodez (864176) on Friday July 08, 2011 @10:56PM (#36702052)
    The federal government doesn't collect my trash. How about shutting down "background services" like wars and warmongering and world policing, or lining defense contractors pockets?

You see but you do not observe. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, in "The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes"