A significant change has been made to the Benefits Planning Query (BPQY) with the deletion of the ‘IRS Recorded Earnings (Yearly)’ section. The change has been caused by a new regulation that mandates that a fee must be charged to gain the IRS information. In an act of some nobility and consideration to impecunious benefits counselors everywhere Social Security have taken the decision to delete the record rather than charge the fee.  This may only be a temporary measure as Social Security have reported that they are exploring other options.

While the news will come as something of a frustration to most, there is some consolation in the fact that the records are available for free to beneficiaries themselves. The request can be made directly to an SSA office, although Social Security are promoting their mySSAaccount option and would prefer that everyone go through that medium. Additionally beneficiaries will now only need to sign one SSA-3288 release of information.