comscore Social Security: Why it pays to keep a careful eye on your earnings record | Honolulu Star-Advertiser
Live Well

Social Security: Why it pays to keep a careful eye on your earnings record

Whether you’re ready to retire, just joining the workforce, or somewhere in between, regularly reviewing your Social Security earnings record could make a big difference when it’s time to collect your retirement benefits.

Social Security prevents many mistakes from appearing on your earnings record. Social Secuity processes about 236 million W-2 wage reports from employers each year, representing more than $5 trillion. More than 98 percent of these wages are successfully posted.

But it’s ultimately the responsibility of your employers — 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 are responsible for any errors or omissions.

What’s the easiest and most efficient way to validate your earnings record?

>> Visit to set up or sign in to your account.

>> Under the “My Home” tab, click on “Earnings Record” to view your online Social Security statement.

>> Review each year of listed earnings and use your records, such as W-2s and tax returns, to confirm them.

>> Earnings from this year and last year may not be listed yet.

If you need to correct your earnings record, find out how at

Report problems as soon as possible. As time passes, you may no longer have past tax documents and some employers may no longer be in business or able to provide past payroll information.

If everything in your earnings record is correct, you can use the online calculators at to plan for your retirement and prepare for the unexpected. The top 35 years of earnings are used to calculate your benefits. Learn more about how benefits are calculated at

Nicole Tiggemann is a spokesperson for the Social Security Administration.

Comments (0)

By participating in online discussions you acknowledge that you have agreed to the Terms of Service. An insightful discussion of ideas and viewpoints is encouraged, but comments must be civil and in good taste, with no personal attacks. If your comments are inappropriate, you may be banned from posting. Report comments if you believe they do not follow our guidelines.

Having trouble with comments? Learn more here.

Click here to see our full coverage of the coronavirus outbreak. Submit your coronavirus news tip.

Be the first to know
Get web push notifications from Star-Advertiser when the next breaking story happens — it's FREE! You just need a supported web browser.
Subscribe for this feature

Scroll Up