Monitoring Your Earnings Can Really Pay Off

December 27, 2018 • By

Last Updated: December 27, 2018

" "You work hard for your money. You’re saving and planning for a secure retirement. Now you need to make sure you’re going to get all the money you deserve. Regularly reviewing your Social Security earnings record can really pay off, especially when every dollar counts in retirement.

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 close to $100 per month 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 be in business or able to provide past payroll information.

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. But you can inform us of any errors or omissions. You’re the only person who can look at your lifetime earnings record and verify that it’s complete and correct.

So, what’s the easiest and most efficient way to validate your earnings record?

  • Visit our website to set up or sign in to your own my Social Security account;
  • Under the “My Home” tab, select “Earnings Record” to view your online Social Security Statement and taxed Social Security earnings;
  • 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; and
  • Notify us right away if you spot errors by calling 1-800-772-1213.

More detailed instructions on how to correct your Social Security earnings record can be found by reading How to Correct Your Social Security Earnings Record.

Securing today and tomorrow requires accuracy and diligence on our part and yours. You’ll be counting on Social Security when you reach retirement age. Make sure you’re getting every dollar you’ve earned. You can have access to us any time.

See Comments

About the Author

Jim Borland, Acting Deputy Commissioner for Communications


  1. Roanna L.

    How do I find out the amount I can earn in 2019 without affecting my SS?

  2. Robert D.

    Then why do o have to pay taxes on SS when I already did while working

    • Kenny O.

      Hello Robert. Thank you for your question. Everyone working in covered employment or self-employment regardless of age or eligibility for benefits must pay Social Security taxes. Also, you will have to pay Federal taxes on your Social Security benefits if you file a Federal tax return as an individual and your total income is more than $25,000. For more income tax related questions, you will need to contact the IRS. Their toll-free number is 1-800-829-1040. We hope this helps.

  3. Adhitya N.

    Saving and planning for a secure retirement. Adhitya Nugraha Novianta

  4. Robert G.

    I have been on SS for several year, and I started working about 32 month ago. And they take SS out .
    How will this effect my mounthly SD ch, and when.
    Robert Lee Garnett

  5. Richard j.

    I tried to comply with the security code that was sent but I can! handle the sign in requirements.

  6. ARNOLD G.

    Why I can not view my Social security account .I place correct info.

  7. eseldeib

    go it thanks

  8. Tammy F.

    Please explain how one year of earnings can make $100 / month difference in a Social Security benefit. If you earned $75,000 and used the “high-35” average by dividing it by 420 months (35 years) and then multiplying by the formula (32% or 15%)… you either get $57 or $27 / month… this is assuming that the earnings for that year would be computed outside of the 90% portion of the formula. What am I missing?

  9. MaeDean w.

    I don’t have an activation code. How do I get one

  10. Chloe

    Thank you so much for this caring reminder. I am at retirement age but am not retired. I spent many years of my life in a religious community and was of course not paid for my work but then, every need was provided for. Now I am out in the world again and have to start from scratch. It’s a challenge and if it’s really true that one needs « millions » to retire comfortably, unless I win the lottery that will never be my lot. However I am blessed with wonderful health and a happy and optimistic disposition plus a skill that is in demand, so I still look at the future with confidence. However I will check!

Comments are closed.