Divorced spouses were not affected by the new File and Suspend Restrictions if they meet the age restrictions. Even if an ex-spouse files and suspends his/her benefit, it will not affect the option of the former spouse to collect benefits on his/her earning record BUT, both spouse and ex-spouses who turn age 62 after January 1, 2016, will lose their right to claim spousal benefits only on their mate or ex-mate’s earnings. These people will now be paid the highest benefit to which they are entitled, whether on their earnings or their spouses. They will not be able to file for only Spousal Benefits and allow their benefit to grow with Delayed Retirement Credits until age 70. That option will no longer be available starting in 2020 – this is when the last of those currently grandfathered in under the old law will reach their Full Retirement Age.
Pillars LLC will continue to remind our readers until the deadline of April 29, 2016 about the Bi-Partisan Budget Act of 2015. The new rules implemented for File and Suspend strategy are critical for the lifetime income stream of those turning age 66 by April 29, 2016, and for the spouses of those individuals. If you meet the age 66 deadline, you also create an option to collect a lump sum payout of suspended benefits. If someone requests to File and Suspend on or after April 30, 2016, he/she is subject to the new law. If his/her spouse or children were receiving benefits on his/her record, their benefits will STOP.
Anyone who is 62 or older by the end of 2015, including those who celebrated their 62nd birthday on January 1, 2016, can still file a Restricted Application for Spousal Benefits when they turn age 66. You do not have to do anything prior to age 66. Social Security’s practice considers a person attains his/her age the day before his/her actual birthday. PLEASE, if you don’t understand this law or need help with your choices about filing, do not hesitate to contact us – there is too much to lose!!
Confused…….it is very complicated. And to make matters worse, people are reporting to us conflicting comments and information given to them at the Social Security offices. This is your benefit and it is basically a permanent decision. Professional advice is strongly recommended. Pillars website is www.pillarsllc.com and our email is firstname.lastname@example.org or you can contact us at 601-954-0699.