H.R. 5306 would require the Social Security Administration (SSA) to mail paper statements to all eligible people who are age 25 or older unless they have elected not to receive such notifications. Statements would detail the amount of a recipient’s current Social Security retirement or disability benefits and the amount to which dependents would be entitled.
Under current law, SSA mails annual statements to people who are 60 or older, who have not started claiming benefits, and who do not have an online account with SSA. SSA estimates that it will spend $7 million in fiscal year 2020 to deliver 14 million such statements.
CBO assumes that H.R. 5306 will be enacted in fiscal year 2020. Based on information from SSA, CBO expects that the agency will start sending the additional statements in April 2021, but there would be some administrative costs in 2020 and 2021 to prepare to send them out and to set up the option for people to decline the paper statement.
CBO estimates that under H.R. 5306, SSA would send 140 million more statements in 2022 when the policy is fully phased in. That estimate includes our expectation that about 5 percent of those eligible to receive a paper statement would opt out. CBO’s estimate is based on current postal rates and information from SSA. Estimated costs grow over time because postage and printing costs rise and more statements would be mailed as the workforce grows.
CBO estimates that implementing H.R. 5306 would cost $33 million in 2021 and $345 million over the 2020-2025 period, assuming appropriation of the necessary amounts.