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Volume 11 Issue 2 - June 2010

Social Security Benefits to Go Electronic by 2013

Millions of Social Security recipients who get their monthly checks by mail will instead receive them electronically as of March 1, 2013, the federal government has announced. The change will not affect about 85 percent of Social Security recipients, who already receive their payments electronically.

The switch is expected to save the federal government more than $300 million in mail and paper fees in the first five years. It will also cover veterans as well as railroad and federal civil service retirees.


The change from paper checks to electronic payments will begin earlier, on March 1, 2011, for new recipients who start collecting Social Security or other benefits as of that date.

Recipients who don’t have bank accounts will be able to enroll in the government’s Direct Express Debit MasterCard program. Prepaid debit cards will allow them to access their monthly payments.

AARP Executive Vice President Nancy LeaMond said, "AARP appreciates the efforts initiated by the administration to modernize Social Security and other payment systems that millions of Americans rely on each and every day for their financial and retirement security."

LeaMond said in a statement that AARP will work closely with government officials to make sure that current and future recipients, including about 4 million people who don’t have bank accounts, are able to make the transition to receive their Social Security and other federal benefits electronically.

Source: Carole Fleck, AARP Bulletin Today, April 23, 2010