Social Security Can Tell You
Courtesy: Social Security Administration
Ever wonder what you earned the year you worked your first job? Or perhaps any other year you worked? We can tell you. Your earnings history is a progress report of your future Social Security benefits. We keep 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.
While your employer is responsible for providing accurate earnings information to us, you should still review your earnings history and inform us of any errors or omissions. This is so you get credit for the contributions you’ve made through payroll taxes.
You’re the only person who can look at your lifetime-earnings record and verify that it’s complete and correct. If an employer didn’t properly report even just one year of your earnings to us, your future benefit payments could be less than you are entitled to. 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. Identify and report errors as soon as possible. As time passes, you may no longer have easy access to past tax documents. Also, some employers may no longer exist or be able to provide past payroll information.
The easiest way to verify your earnings record is to visit ssa.gov/myaccount and set up or sign in to your personal my Social Security account. You should review each year of listed earnings carefully and confirm them using your own records, such as W-2s and tax returns. Keep in mind that earnings from this year and last year may not be listed yet.
You can find out how to correct your Social Security earnings record by reading our publication How to Correct Your Social Security Earnings Record at ssa.gov/pubs/EN-05-10081.pdf.
Let your friends and family know that they can access important information like this any time at ssa.gov and that they can do much of their business with us online.
Jane Burigsay is the Social Security Administration’s public affairs specialist in Hawai‘i.