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“File and Suspend” Social Security Strategy Set to Expire in April

March 31, 2016

New Social Security filing rules for retirement benefits eliminate file and suspend strategy.

As of Friday, April 29th, 2016 the popular “file and suspend” social security strategy will be eliminated. A strategy that many married couples found valuable and has also been referred to as "voluntary suspension," or "claim and suspend" is ending. File and suspend increases the Social Security claiming options for many married couples by allowing them to take advantage of spousal benefits and "delayed retirement credits" simultaneously.

What Do These Changes Mean for You?

  • If you are already receiving benefits, you are "grandfathered in" and will not be affected by the new changes.
  • If you were 62 before December 31, 2015, you may still be able to file a restricted application to collect a spousal benefit when reaching full retirement age (66) and further analysis is warranted.
  • If you were born on or before May 1, 1950 and are not yet receiving benefits, now is the time to evaluate your choices.
  • If you are divorced or a surviving spouse, additional options may be available to you.

Additional Note

If you have already suspended benefits you will no longer be able to retroactively unsuspend benefits. There will also be substantial changes to the rules around restricted applications.

Learn more about the file and suspend strategy in our recent blog.

Questions? Contact us.

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