They actually got paid while they waited, which made it easier for them to delay claiming their benefits.The File & Suspend and Restricted Application claiming strategies did not originate with some creative interpretation of the Social Security rules, as some people claim.From 2003 to 2013, the percentage of people claiming their benefits at age 62 had fallen to its lowest percentage in almost 30 years, and the percentage claiming at age 66 had increased to one of its highest percentages in almost 30 years.
On the surface those sound like good reasons but when you look below the surface, the case becomes less clear.
In fact, very specific language was written into the Social Security rules in the year 2000, detailing both strategies and how retirees could use them.
It appeared they wanted to give people the incentive to delay claiming their benefits and it worked.
Bigger monthly Social Security checks should make people more financially comfortable in their retirement.
Our government justified eliminating these strategies because they said only wealthy people were using them and they also increased the cost of the system.
The spousal benefit entitles one spouse to receive up to 50 percent of the other spouse’s regular benefit. Both strategies, however, allowed one spouse to claim and receive a spousal benefit while they continued to delay claiming their own regular benefit.
So while they were waiting to maximize the size of their regular benefit they still received some Social Security income in the form of a spousal benefit.
The changes in the bill eliminated two Social Security claiming strategies: “File & Suspend” and “Restricted Application,” that were gaining in popularity and could make it easier to increase your benefit checks.
Both claiming strategies revolved around the strategic claiming of the Social Security spousal benefit.
Change may be coming to your Social Security claiming strategy.
Included in the recently enacted Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015, signed by President Obama on November 2, were some significant changes to Social Security.