Question: I am 64 and just started collecting my Social Security. My wife is now 60. If she could draw half of mine when she reaches 62 and delay hers until 67 that would be great. But I thought that Social Security stopped allowing that situation to occur.
Answer: The restricted application is only available for those born on or before Jan. 1, 1954, says Jim Blankenship, a certified financial planner with Blankenship Financial Planning, blogger, and author of A Social Security Owner's Manual, Social Security for the Suddenly Single: Social Security Retirement and Survivor Benefits for Divorcees, and most recently A Medicare Owner's Manual.
In addition, you can only file a restricted application at or after full retirement age or FRA. "Thus, since your wife is just now 60, the restricted application is out of the question by birthdate," says Blankenship.
Secondly, if filing before FRA, deemed filing always applies, regardless of birthdate, he says.
Deemed filing means that when you file for either your retirement or your spouse's benefit, you are required or "deemed" to file for the other benefit as well. Deemed filing rules already apply when you file for either your retirement or your spouse's benefit and you are before full retirement age (FRA). Read more about deemed filing from the SSA.
Essentially, both you and your wife are too young to use this strategy, says Marcia Mantell, founder and president of Mantell Retirement Consulting.
The general idea behind the restricted application strategy, according to Mantell, was that when a spouse reached FRA, he or she could choose to take just a spousal benefit. "The benefit amount would be 50% of the other spouse's primary insurance amount," she said. "Then, at a later date, usually age 70, this spouse would switch to his or her own benefit that has increased over the years at 8% per year. However, the other spouse also had to be claiming his or her own retirement benefit, so both spouses are 'in the pool.'"
Even if the restricted application were available to you, your wife still could not tap her benefit as described in his question," says Mantell. "His wife could only have drawn her spousal share at her own FRA of 67 -- not at 62."
Of note, Mantell says the restricted claiming strategy as well as voluntary suspension of benefits (also called "file and suspend") were eliminated in the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015. Read more about the changes to claiming requirements.
Got questions about the new tax law, Social Security, Medicare, retirement, investments, or money in general? Want to be considered for a Money Makeover? Email Robert.Powell@TheStreet.com. Kim McSheridan assisted with this report.
Question: I am 64 and just started collecting my Social Security. My wife is now 60. If she could draw half of mine when she reaches 62 and delay hers until 67 that would be great. But I thought that Social Security stopped allowing that situation to occur. Subscribe for full article
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