The 2015 bi-partisan budget act killed the “File and Suspend” as of April 29. But that doesn’t mean the end of smart Social Security election options that could add significant dollars to your Social Security income in retirement.
If you and your spouse were born on or before Jan. 1, 1954 — meaning you are both 62 years of age or older as of Jan. 1, 2016 — and both qualify for social security benefits this strategy could work for you.
It’s called “restricted application,” but is more accurately described as a “spousal claiming strategy”.
Here’s how it works.
When you are claiming social security benefits, you have three basic options:
- You can claim your benefits at age 62 early with a penalty (up to 25% less than your full benefits).
- You can claim your benefits at full retirement age (66 or 67 depending on when you are born) with no penalty.
- You can delay claiming your benefits up to age 70, with every year you delay adding an additional 8% to your monthly benefits.