Congress recently broke a long standing promise to seniors by changing claiming rules which reduced options and therefore benefits for many. There were no public hearings or discussions. The news media did not cover it. There is some evidence that it was pitched as “Loophole Closures”. The changes were thrown into H.R. 1314 the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015 and signed into Law by the President on November the 2nd 2015.
Social Security claiming strategies are complex and for the next four years they will be more complicated. The overriding philosophy change embedded in the new law is this … a spouse or dependent cannot receive a benefit from a workers earnings history unless that worker them self is receiving a benefit from their earnings history. Let’s examine how that changes strategy implementation.
Here is the short description of the changes:
- File and Suspend for Spousal or dependent benefits will not be available to you if you are age 66 on or after April 30, 2016.
- Restricted Application for Spousal Benefit Only will not be available to you if you turn 62 after December 31th 2015.
- Divorced Spouse benefits – Loss of control of spousal benefit.
- File and Suspend for Retroactive Benefits – No longer available after April 30th 2016.
- Medicare premiums …going up for some.
Anyone currently employing these strategies or implementing them by the deadline will be grandfathered in.
Based on what I am hearing in the field, the Social Security attorneys have not yet completed their interpretation of the new law in all its possible scenarios. I expect there will be additional changes going forward especially for the divorced.
If you are confused by these changes or want a complementary Social Security Claiming Strategy Evaluation Report, please call me at 770-507-7500.
Temp S. Davis IV