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Christopher B, Esq.
Christopher B, Esq., Attorney
Category: Social Security
Satisfied Customers: 2642
Experience:  associate attorney
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I am 63, will be 64 in June, my wife is 61 will be 62 in June,

Customer Question

I am 63, will be 64 in June, my wife is 61 will be 62 in June, do I need to file & suspend before April 15th so my wife can file for spousal benifit at 66?
Submitted: 6 months ago.
Category: Social Security
Expert:  Christopher B, Esq. replied 6 months ago.
My name is***** and I will be helping you with your question today. This is for informational purposes only and does not establish an attorney client relationship. You cannot "file and suspend" as you must be full retirement age (age 66) in order to do so. This is being eliminated on May 1 so you will not have that option available to you. A restricted benefit is available to you but not your wife (you must be age 62 on December 31, 2015 in order to be grandfathered into this option) unless you have filed for early retirement as the restricted benefit cannot be made if you have already elected your retirement benefit. Your wife can still take spousal benefit at age 66 as long as you have made your retirement election but she will only receive the higher of her own benefit and the spousal benefit, these benefits do not stack. Unfortunately, your ages probably preclude you from taking advantage of these loopholes before they are gone.Here is a summary of the changes going into effect on May 1:A spouse can only take the spousal benefit if the other spouse has elected to take their benefit. Currently the law is changing and a "suspend and file" cannot be elected starting on May 1, 2016. In this circumstance at full retirement age (66) one could file and suspend their benefits and continue earning credits until age 70 and their spouse could elect to take the spousal benefit. The spousal benefit can be as much as half of the worker's "primary insurance amount," depending on the spouse's age at retirement. If the spouse begins receiving benefits before "normal (or full) retirement age," the spouse will receive a reduced benefit. However, if a spouse is caring for a qualifying child, the spousal benefit is not reduced. Also the "restricted benefit" is being eliminated. If you turned age 62 be the end of December 31, 2015, you would be grandfathered in and at full retirement age you will still be able to restrict your benefit. This means that if you or your spouse would like to elect to take only the spousal benefit as opposed to your normal retirement benefit, you can restrict your election to ONLY the spousal benefit. This would allow you to collect the 50% spousal benefit while still gaining credits to your normal retirement benefit from ages 66-70 (the credit increases your benefit approximately 8% per year). This cannot be accomplished if you have elected to take early retirement. After the law changes, at full retirement age, you would have to take the higher of the spousal benefit and your retirement benefit. You can no longer choose just the spousal and let your normal retirement benefit grow while still take the spousal benefit. Please let me know if you have any further questions and please positively rate my answer if satisfied. There should be smiley faces or numbers from 1-5 to choose from. This extra step will cost you nothing extra and will ensure that I will be compensated for my time by the site.
Expert:  Christopher B, Esq. replied 6 months ago.
Just checking back in, do you have any further questions?

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