Four Important Changes to Social Security for Pre Retirees

Last Friday, members of Congress passed a vote to amend the Senior Citizens Freedom to Work Act in 2000.   Here's a summary:

  1. Anyone currently utilizing the file and suspend strategy is “grandfathered” under the old rules and payments being made to ancillary beneficiaries on their record will continue to be made.  This was a matter that required amendment to the original bill, which would have created (had it passed in the original form) a circumstance where those payments would have ceased immediately upon enactment.
  2. File and suspend can still be requested (and ancillaries still paid on the record of the worker whose benefits remain in suspension) for the next 6 months.  Once the six month window closes, applicants may still suspend benefits but no ancillary benefit will be paid on that record.
  3. Individuals who are 62 years of age or older by the end of 2015 are also “grandfathered” and will still be permitted to collect the spousal benefit only at 66, if the standard criteria for eligibility is met. 
  4. Deemed filing applies regardless of age, therefore the restricted application (for those beneficiaries who do not fall within the criteria of #1-#3) is no longer an filing option.

 In summary, retirement planning with longevity demands the help of a qualified professional who understand how to build social security filing strategies as the center piece of your retirement plan.