You may be seeing headlines in the news such as “Big Changes in Social Security Starting May 1, 2016” and wondering if the changes impact you.  Here’s how to decipher all the chatter:

If You are Already Receiving Social Security:  You can ignore it; the good news is that you will not be affected by the new rules.

If You Were Born On or Before May 1st 1950 and Not Already Receiving Social Security:  You have until April 29, 2016 to “File and Suspend”.  This allows you to elect benefits and then voluntary suspend receiving them for yourself to allow a spouse and/or dependent children to collect benefits on your record.  Your own benefits, while suspended, will still grow at 8% per year until your age 70. You can also file a “Restricted Application” to receive Spousal Benefits yourself based on a current or former spouse’s work record….(see below for more details)

If You Were Born on or After May 2, 1950 but Before January 2, 1954:  You cannot “File and Suspend” to allow someone else to receive benefits on your record.  You still have the option to file a “Restricted Application” for Spousal Benefits.  This allows you to let your benefits based on your own record grow at 8% per year until your age 70 and still receive Spousal Benefits based on your current or former spouse’s work record.  There is no deadline for filing your Restricted Application; it can be done any time upon your attainment of age 66, but before age 70.

If You Were Born on or After January 2, 1954:  Any claim you make for Social Security will automatically trigger a claim for the greater of benefits based on your own record or those based on your current or former spouse’s record, as soon as spousal benefit eligibility exists.

 

If need more details about the April 30th Social Security changes or would like a detailed analysis on your own Social Security filing strategies, please feel free to call (205-967-4200) or email me (pat@meldfinancial.com).

 

Pat Burris