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John
John, Attorney
Category: Social Security
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Experience:  Licensed and practicing attorney.
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On 05/01/2016 social security reform bipartisan budget act

Customer Question

On 05/01/2016 social security reform bipartisan budget act of 2015-2016 section 831 will go into effect, what and how will this have on my benefits I am currently receiving
Submitted: 8 months ago.
Category: Social Security
Expert:  John replied 8 months ago.

Being that you are already receiving benefits, there will be no changes to your benefits. The only thing this law does that will be recognizable to average person is as follows:

Deemed Filing

  • The law now automatically deems a claimant who applies for retirement benefits to have applied for any spousal benefit to which he or she is eligible, for any month in which he or she is eligible. (previously you could take your spouses benefits while yours accumulated)
  • Automatically deems a claimant who applies for a spousal benefit based on age to have applied for his or her retirement benefit for any month in which he or she is eligible. (previously you could suspend your benefits while they gained in amount after full retirement age, and you'd draw off your spouse while your benefits grew to a max)
  • Effective for individuals who attain age 62 after December 31, 2015.

Voluntary Suspension of Benefits

  • Prohibits:
    • any individual from receiving retroactive benefits for a period of voluntary suspension;
    • any individual from receiving benefits based on the earnings of an individual who has suspended his or her benefits, during the period of suspension; and
    • an individual whose benefits are suspended from receiving benefits on any other record, during the period of suspension.
  • Effective for requests for suspension submitted beginning 180 days after the date of enactment

What these changes do is phase out ways that married dual earner couples were using their credits to take in more social security $. Namely:

  • File and Suspend Strategy. This strategy works for couples in which one spouse is ready to retire, but the other spouse is planning to continue working. A working spouse who has reached full retirement age can file for benefits and then immediately suspend them. Once the worker suspends benefits, the non-working spouse can begin receiving spousal benefits while the worker continues to work. The longer the worker delays retirement, the more delayed retirement credits he or she will accumulate. To learn more about this strategy.
  • Claim Now, Claim More Later Strategy . Under this strategy, the spouse who earned less would claim early retirement benefits at 62 while the higher-earning spouse waited. The higher-earning spouse would claim a spousal benefit once he or she reached full retirement age. Then at 70, the higher-earning spouse would claim the maximum amount of his or her retirement benefit and stop receiving the spousal benefit.


Being that you are already receiving benefits, none of this will matter to you.

Expert:  John replied 8 months ago.

I believe this answers your question. However, if you need clarification or have follow-up questions regarding this matter, I will be happy to continue our conversation – simply reply to this answer. If you are otherwise satisfied with my response, please leave a positive rating as itis the only way I am able to get credit for my answers. Thank you, ***** ***** wish you all the best with this matter.

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