Social Security will revise benefit statements.

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In a letter to the General Accounting Office, Shirley S. Chater, the commissioner of the Social Security Administration (SSA), said the current format of the SSA's personal earnings and benefit estimate statements (PEBES) was not user-friendly and that the SSA would begin work on content and design changes This year.

Chater was responding to a December GAO report recommending that the SSA revise the current benefit statements to improve design and simplify explanations. According to the report, SSA Benefit Statements: Well Received by the Public but Difficult to Comprehend, PEBES will be sent to 123 million people each year--almost every U.S. worker aged 25 and older--by the year 2000. In 1995, Congress required the SSA to send the statements to all workers who had reached age 60. The six-page statements supply workers with information about their yearly earnings on record at the SSA as well as information on their eligibility for Social Security retirement and estimates on survivor and disability benefits.

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