The budget deal (The Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015, the “Act”) negotiated between Congress and President Obama, which became effective November 2, 2015, raises the U.S. debt limit and among other provisions eliminates two key Social Security filing techniques currently utilized by couples to maximize benefits. Consequently,
- For a spouse who turns 62 by the end of 2015, there will remain a limited opportunity to collect a new spousal benefit at full retirement age if the worker spouse has already claimed retirement benefits or requests a “file and suspend” of their benefits by the end of April, 2016. Thereafter, the “file and suspend” technique will no longer be available to entitle a spouse to collect a spousal benefit while their spouse continues to earn delayed credits.
- Beneficiaries turning age 62 in 2016 or later will no longer be able to file a restricted application for a spousal benefit only. Thus, spouses will be unable to claim a spousal benefit while allowing their own retirement benefit to earn delayed credits.
While the Act certainly eliminates some of the Social Security filing opportunities going forward, it’s important that you plan for and utilize filing strategies that remain viable. Through proper planning, you may help ensure that you are maximizing Social Security benefits for you and your family, especially during the grace period ending on or around April 30, 2016 (180 days after the enactment of the bill), should you qualify.
It’s always important to remember that your planning is dynamic. As legislation is passed and laws evolve, it is imperative that we work together to update your financial plan in order to accomplish your goals and objectives. Periodic reviews enable us to identify new opportunities and risks that may arise relative to your unique situation.
I invite you to contact our office to schedule an appointment to discuss this matter further.