So what has changed that could be shaping Americans’ Social Security savvy? For one thing, the Social Security Administration has stopped mailing statements to those under the age of 60, meaning the only way to access information is online by creating a personal account (at

To take the pulse of the number of pre-retirees who were up to speed on this change, MassMutual asked: "Have you created an account on the Social Security Administration website to view your earnings history to ensure it is accurate now that the administration no longer mails statements to people under the age of 60?"

A whopping 86 percent of those age 50 to 59 answered no, they have not created an account yet. Of the total pool surveyed, the majority (60 percent) have not created an account yet.

What could go wrong? Not only could establishing an account help ensure that your Social Security retirement benefit calculations are accurate, it could also help with identity theft protection because only one account per Social Security number is allowed.

When you have a Social Security online account, it is easy to see if your earnings history is accurate and up to date. This is important because simple corrections are generally limited to a short period of time. After “three years, three months and 15 days,” you’ll need to produce IRS tax filings and proof of wages, according to the website (

What is clear is that Americans getting ready for retirement need help. Respondents seem to understand that the longer they work, the larger their monthly benefit will be. What they don't appear to know is their full retirement age (as evidenced by question one), or how much their benefits will grow each year they wait to begin collecting benefits. Retirees can begin to draw Social Security benefits at age 62 or any point thereafter. However, there is an 8 percent increase in benefits for each year an eligible beneficiary waits to begin collecting benefits, up until age 70, according to the Social Security Administration.

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