Employees who get married but forget to update their Social Security cards with their married names will lose out, because the Social Security Administration (SSA) won’t be able to credit their earnings to their Social Security benefits accounts. Not out of luck: The SSA will set things straight, but not before employees jump through lots of hoops.
Remind newlyweds to get replacement Social Security cards showing their new names. The SSA’s procedure for getting replacement cards, including a downloadable copy of Form SS-5, Application for a Social Security Card, is posted at www.socialsecurity.gov/ssnumber.
Memo to Payroll: Don’t change employees’ names in your payroll records until newlyweds present their new cards.
BE A HERO: Newlyweds have other things on their minds so be proactive by creating wedding packages for them. Include:
- Direct deposit forms
- W-4s so they can claim married status
- Forms to update dependent coverage for health care (this may entail updating cafeteria plan information)
- Forms to name 401(k) beneficiaries.
- A change of address card, for W-2 purposes.
Finally, suggest that newlyweds update their driver’s licenses.