Social Security Questions? Ask a Social Security Expert
The change to Social Security that you have heard about for 2016 is the loss of the file and suspend strategy.
How that worked was as follows:
The primary worker would file for Social Security at full retirement age but would immediately suspend them. The spouse would then file for spousal benefits, which were allowed since the primary worker had filed. Then later, the primary worker would have the suspension removed and start collecting benefits, with a higher monthly amount based on how long the worker had kept the benefits suspended.
If you are eligible to file and suspend and do so before May 1., family members will still be able to claim spousal or children's benefits based on your work history. However, you have to have reached full retirement age to use the file and suspend strategy, and so those who won't hit the 66-year-old mark by May won't qualify for the grandfathering provisions of the new law. You can still suspend your benefits if you want, but if you do so, your spouse and children will also be forced to suspend any family benefits tied to your work record. Therefore, those who are old enough to consider file and suspend still have time to implement the strategy.
You can file for then suspend your benefits now.
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