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Icons of Progress

The Social Security System


The 1930s engagement between IBM and the US Federal Government kicked off a relationship that would grow deeper with time. As the government increasingly turned to technology to help overcome new challenges, IBM became the logical choice as solution provider. The competence IBM displayed in data processing and large-scale project management opened the doors to foreign government engagements.

BPS (Banco de Prevision Social) reforms Uruguay’s Social Security Law

On September 3, 1995, Uruguay’s Congress passed the Social Security Reform Law 16173, which established a six-month time frame for reform measures. IBM was independently chosen by two different Uruguayan institutions to implement, administer and operate all changes to pensions and family benefits as part of a strategic outsourcing for the solution, and all on a limited budget.

Making the Belgian social sector smart

In 2007, Belgian’s Banque Carrefour de la Sécurité Sociale/Kruispuntbank van de Sociale Zekerheid (BCSS/KSZ) engaged IBM to develop a social security system with better service for the citizen. The solution simplified communication between different stakeholders, automated the activation of remuneration without paperwork and optimized the use of IT.


How to read your US Social Security number

The area number is the first three digits in your Social Security number and is assigned by the geographical region. Generally speaking, area numbers begin in the northeast of the continental US and gradually increase as they move westward. So, people on the east coast have the lowest area numbers while those on the west coast have the highest.

The middle two digits of your Social Security number make up the group number. Within each area, the group number ranges from 01 to 99, but it is not assigned in consecutive order. Odd numbers from 01 to 09 are issued first, then even numbers from 10 to 98. After group 98 is full, groups are assigned the even numbers from 02 to 08, followed by the odd numbers from 11 to 99.

The serial number is the last four digits of your Social Security number. Serial numbers are assigned consecutively and chronologically from 0001 through 9999. The serial number 0000 is never used; and in fact, no fields are ever assigned all zeros.