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The new law H.R. 1314 law was passed, and this law has a significant impact on how Social Security benefits are structured. Since you already receive social security and filed before April 30, 2016 the first section does not apply to you. This provision of the law states that spousal benefits may no longer be collected on an earnings record during the suspension period. This effectively eliminates the “file-and-suspend option” for couples. It also changes benefits for anyone born on or after January 1, 1954, and who files after April 30, 2016, they will automatically receive the higher of their personal or spousal benefit. Filing for spousal benefits only is no longer available. However, the law does have a loophole that allows some Social Security beneficiaries who are approaching retirement age to be grandfathered into the old file and suspend rule before May 1, 2016. If you will be 66 years or older come May 1, 2016, and you have not started, claimed, your Social Security benefits, then the filing part triggers a spouse’s right to begin spousal benefits. The “suspend” part signifies that you will not immediately receive your worker’s benefit and the benefit will be deferred until you choose to claim it. This will allow you to take advantage of the deferral credits, which increase your Social Security retirement benefits by 8 percent per year after full retirement age up until the age of 70. Please note that this must be done before May 1, 2016 because after this date, if you are a married worker you will have to file and begin to receive benefits in order to trigger the spousal benefit.
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