Jane Burigsay
Courtesy: Social Security Administration

It typically takes people a lifetime of planning to reach their retirement goals. The earlier young workers know about saving for their future, the better chance they will have at achieving a comfortable retirement. This is why Social Security has created a resource specifically for teachers and students.

Our Information for Educators page contains a toolkit with information and resources to educate and engage students on Social Security programs and services. Within the toolkit, you will find:

• Two lesson plans with objectives

• Infographics and handouts for each lesson plan

• Links to Social Security webpages

• Talking points

• Quiz questions and answers

It’s important for students to understand why Social Security was created and why it is essential to their lives today and in the future. This knowledge and understanding will provide students with a strong base on which to build their financial future.

You can access the webpage and toolkit at www.socialsecurity.gov/thirdparty/educators.html.

Young workers can also see how Social Security directly relates to them at www.socialsecurity.gov/people/students.

Encouraging young people to save now for long-term goals that are decades away can be somewhat difficult. Let them know they have a better chance of realizing their dreams if they start planning and taking action early. Also let them know that they can share this information with friends, both in person and on social media.

Your Social Security Earnings Record

Social Security is an earned benefit. Your earnings history is a record of your progress toward your benefits. Social Security keeps track of your earnings so we can pay you the benefits you’ve earned over your lifetime. This is why reviewing your Social Security earnings record is so important.

If an employer did not properly report just one year of your work earnings to us, your future benefit payments from Social Security could be less than they should be. Over the course of a lifetime, that could cost you tens of thousands of dollars in retirement or other benefits to which you are entitled. Sooner is definitely better when it comes to identifying and reporting problems with your earnings record. As time passes, you may no longer have easy access to past tax documents, and some employers may no longer exist or be able to provide past payroll information.

While it is the responsibility of your employers, both past and present, to provide accurate earnings information to Social Security so you get credit for the contributions you’ve made through payroll taxes, you should still inform us of any errors or omissions you find. You’re the only person who can look at your lifetime earnings record and verify that it is complete and correct.

The easiest and most efficient way to validate your earnings record is to visit www.socialsecurity.gov/myaccount to set up or sign in to your own my Social Security account. You should carefully review each year of listed earnings and use your own records, such as W-2s and tax returns, to confirm them. Keep in mind that earnings from this year and last year may not be listed yet. Notify us right away if you spot errors by calling 1-800-772-1213.

You can find more detailed instructions on how to correct your Social Security earnings record at www.socialsecurity.gov/pubs/EN-05-10081.pdf.

Remember, you can access important information like this any time at www.socialsecurity.gov and do much of your business with us online.

Jane Burigsay is Social Security’s public affairs specialist in Hawai‘i.


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