TN 5 (11-15)
GN 03305.035 Disclosure of Earnings Information to Private Pension Plan Companies, Law Firms, and Other Entities Under Reimbursable Agreements
A. Information about requests for earnings records
SSA receives requests from individuals and third party organizations for itemized statements of earnings. These third party organizations may be entities such as federal agencies, private pension plan companies and law firms.
Some private pension plans need itemized earnings information to determine:
An individual’s eligibility for a private pension benefit;
An individual’s continued eligibility to receive a pension benefit; or
The pension benefit amount.
Some law firms need itemized earnings information for litigation-related matters to determine:
These pension plan companies, law firms and other entities may request a reimbursable agreement with the written consent of the individual(s) to whom the earnings pertain, or someone who can consent for the individual(s), by submitting Form SSA-581 (Authorization to Obtain Earnings Data from the Social Security Administration) to us. If the NH is not the consenting individual, proof of relationship must accompany the Form SSA-581.
Form SSA-581 complies with the IRC’s requirements for consent. For the consent requirements applicable to the disclosure of tax return information, see GN 03305.003E.
B. Reimbursable agreements
Multi-employer and single-employer pension plan companies, law firms and other entities may enter into reimbursable agreements with us by signing a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) and Form SSA-1235 (Agreement Covering Reimbursable Services).
Multi-employer pension plans are for workers in industries where it is common for the individuals to move from employer to employer. The single-employer pension plans are for workers with only one employer. We also assist organizations with determining if individuals have continued eligibility to receive private pension benefits.
By submitting the SSA-581, the requester may receive the SSA-1826 (Itemized Statement of Earnings) which shows:
Quarterly earnings amounts from 1937 to 1978 and annual earnings amounts from 1979 to the present;
Employer identification numbers (EIN); and
The names and addresses of the reporting employers.
C. Establishing the Reimbursable Agreement
1. Whom should the requester contact?
When a representative of a pension plan, law firm or other entity inquires about obtaining itemized earnings information, explain that he or she can ask us to prepare an agreement under which we will provide this information on a reimbursable basis. Requesters must reimburse us the full cost of providing the information. Requesters must send a written request on company letterhead to: Social Security Administration
OCO Pension Fund Staff
Division for Training and Program Support (DTPS)
6100 Wabash Avenue
Baltimore, MD 21215
The Center for Program Support will review the request and contact the requesting entity’s representative to negotiate the reimbursable agreement.
2. Information the requester should provide
The written request should include the following information:
Name, address, and employer identification number (EIN) of the organization;
A statement specifically requesting to enter into a reimbursable agreement;
Reason for requesting the earnings information;
Approximate number of requests for earnings information required by September 30, the end of the fiscal year;
Name, signature, address, telephone number, and email address of the company or law firm representative to discuss the terms of the reimbursable agreement; and
A copy of a letter from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) showing the EIN or IRS Form W-9.
3. Requirements for reimbursable agreements
Advise the requester of the following information:
The Privacy Act and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) regulations require us to have a valid consent document from each individual to whom the earnings information pertains before we can disclose earnings information. IRS regulations also require that we receive the consent document within 120 days of the date of the consenting individual’s signature; and
We will charge the full cost for work done under reimbursable agreements and collect the estimated cost in advance of our performing the work. We will issue a quarterly statement to assist with monitoring the account balance and a bill for any amount due in excess of the advance payment. At the end of the fiscal year, we will issue a refund if the actual total processing amount is less than the advance payment.