As if there weren’t enough problems surrounding the whole issueof retirement, a new one is rearing its head: acutback in statements from the Social Security Administration to workers.

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That’s according to research by Barbara Smith, a senioreconomist at Social Security’s Office of Retirement, and KennethCouch, a professor at the University of Connecticut. Moneyreports that, in a paperbeing presented this week at a George Washington Universityseminar, the pair say that mailed statements from the SSA “had asignificant effect on claiming behavior,” and that the cuts couldmake it less likely that people will wait to claim Social Securitybenefits till later in life.

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Related: Trump freeze seen worsening 526-daybacklog

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Since benefits can be claimed at any time from age 62 till age70, there’s quite a range of time during which someone might decideto retire and file a claim.

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Statements have been instrumental in that decision, and earlierresearch by Smith and Couch indicates that those statements havebeen more effective than information available on the SSA’s websiteat educating workers on the various benefits and programs the SSAprovides.

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Both the statements and the website provide workers with theircomplete wage history, as well as estimates of Social Securitybenefits they could collect at various retirement ages.

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Seeing those numbers in black and white apparently makes animpact, since people who rely on the statements as part of theirplanning process tend to retire later—increasing their SocialSecurity benefit while at the same time reducing the length of timethey’ll need to draw on it.

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The statements have variously gone to a selected age groupbeginning in 1995, then to workers aged 25 and older beginning in2000. Those mailings were cut back in 2011, but then resumed forworkers aged 60 and older; in 2014, the SSA went back to sendingthem to most working-age people every five years, beginning at age25.

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Now, however, the SSA is cutting back again. In January itannounced that it would only send statements to people 60 or olderwho don’t already receive benefits and who don’t have an onlineSocial Security account. It’s eliminating mailings for peopleturning 25, 30, 35, 40, 45, 50 and 55.

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The researchers write, “Our results, although preliminary,suggest that the provision of information might be an effectivetool for policymakers interested in encouraging retirement securityby having workers delay claiming Social Security benefits and worklonger.”

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But the SSA is going in the opposite direction, in the name ofsaving money; cutting back on the statements it sends will save theadministration $11.3 million.

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Doug Walker, deputy commissioner of communications for theadministration, cited an SSA hiring freeze in January and is quotedin the report saying, “We have fewer resources to serve morepeople.”

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