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TaxRobin, Tax Preparer
Category: Social Security
Satisfied Customers: 15716
Experience:  15+ years in tax preparation and instruction
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File and suspend"—what is it? What does it mean? How do I

Customer Question

file and suspend"—what is it? What does it mean? How do I apply for it? I am 66 and will turn 67 in April 2016. My wife is 65 and will turn 66 in July 2016.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Social Security
Expert:  TaxRobin replied 1 year ago.


"File and Suspend" is a strategy that many married couples will find valuable , sometimes referred to as "voluntary suspension," or "claim and suspend."

File and suspend increases the Social Security claiming options for many married couples by allowing them to take advantage of spousal benefits and "delayed retirement credits" simultaneously.

Once full retirement age (FRA) is reached (age 66 for those born between 1943 and 1954)by the main spouse, a beneficiary can file for benefits, but then immediately suspend receipt of those benefits until some future date. By doing this, his or her spouse can claim a spousal benefit and the main beneficiary can let his or her own retirement benefit grow at 8 percent per year.

The file and suspend strategy is also potentially useful for couples in which only one person has reached full retirement age (FRA). In this case, the benefit of the main beneficiary will continue to grow, but the spouse's benefit will not.

You will want to check with SSA and see if this option would assist you.

This may assist your wife if you do not need to draw SSA now but she would like to. SSA will be able to look at your specific files and tell you exactly what she can draw now and how much more you can draw later should you suspend.

Expert:  TaxRobin replied 1 year ago.

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Expert:  TaxRobin replied 1 year ago.

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