The Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015 ended two popular Social Security retirement benefit claiming strategies, “File-and-Suspend” and “Restricted Application.” Many married couples use the file-and-suspend strategy by having the higher wage earner file for benefits and then immediately suspend them so that the lower earning spouse can claim spousal benefits while letting their own Social Security grow at a rate of 8 percent a year until age 70.
People already taking advantage of the strategy would basically be grandfathered in and continue to receive benefits, and people who are already 66 or will be 66 within six months of the signing of the law – April 30, 2016 – may still file-and-suspend under the previous law.
To be eligible to do so, they must file-and-suspend by April 29th, 2016.
If you think you or your spouse may be affected (i.e. where at least one spouse was born before April 30, 1950 and are not over 70), please contact your JamisonMoneyFarmer CPA to help identify the best strategy for you.