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Congressional budget deal repeals Social Security benefit strategies

Wednesday December 16, 2015 - Jennifer Prell
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File and Suspend

Under the new law, it will no longer be permissible to file and suspend benefits while allowing a spouse or minor dependent child to claim benefits on one’s earnings. It will still be possible to suspend benefits and earn delayed retirement credits. However, under the new law, once you suspend your benefits, no other benefits based on your earnings record will be paid to spouses, dependent children or any other individual. As the filer, you will have to collect your own benefits in order for your spouse, dependent children or any other individual to receive spousal or dependent benefits on your record. If you have employed a file and suspend strategy already, you are grandfathered with no impact to your benefits. Certain individuals remain eligible to implement a file and suspend strategy prior to the effective date of the legislation, 180 days after the bill was signed into law on November 2, 2015 or approximately May 2, 2016.

Restricted Applications
If you were born after 1953, you will no longer be allowed to claim your spousal benefit while deferring and receiving delayed retirement credits on your own benefit. This strategy is commonly known as "claim twice." Instead, if you were born after 1953, you will be required to file simultaneously for both your spousal benefits and your own benefit. You will receive an amount equal to the greater of the two benefits. Certain individuals born before 1954 remain eligible to file restricted applications