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Social Security Law Changes-2016





Social Security Law Changes-2016 (Voluntary Suspension and Deemed filing rules)

Voluntary Suspension


Law before the Change due to the H.R. 1314 Bipartisan Budget of 2015


Voluntary suspension allows a worker to delay their retirement benefits to receive delayed retirement credit of two-thirds of one percent for each month from full retirement age up to age 70 a retirement benefit is not paid.


A spouse and/or children could be paid their benefit while the worker suspended retirement benefit.


Voluntary suspension is voluntary and if the worker who suspended their benefit changed their mind, they could request that all benefits previously suspended be paid, giving up the delayed retirement credit for any month the retirement benefit was paid.


If the worker qualified for a spouse or survivor benefit, the excess benefit could be paid while the retirement benefit was suspended.


Effective 180 days after the H.R. 1314 was signed into law on November 2, 2015 (April 30, 2016)


Prevents an auxiliary (spouse or children) from receiving benefits if the worker has voluntarily suspended benefits to earn delayed retirement benefits. Exception is divorced spouses.


Prevents the worker from receiving benefits on another persons Social Security record while their retirement benefit is suspended.


If you change your mind, you cannot receive any benefit previously suspended. No retroactive benefits are ever payable to the suspended worker.


These changes apply with respect to requests to suspend benefits beginning 180 days from the date of enactment (April 30, 2016).


Note: The worker must file for and receive benefits on their own record for a spouse and/or child to be paid a benefit.


A person who is receiving reduced retirement benefits can still suspend them any time after FRA and receive delayed credits on the reduced benefit until age 70.


Deemed Filing Provision change


Deemed Filing Rule for persons born in 1953 or earlier


If a person younger than Full Retirement Age (FRA) files for a reduced retirement benefit on their own earnings record they are deemed to have filed for a reduced spouse benefit if eligible for one at that time. In addition, any application for reduced spouse benefits is deemed to be an application for reduced retirement benefits on their own record. This is the current “deemed filing” provision.


Currently, a person who files for spouse benefits at FRA or later is not deemed to have filed an application for retirement benefits on their own record. They can restrict the scope of the application to draw unreduced spouse benefits at FRA. Thus, they maximize their own retirement benefit by waiting until age 70 accruing an 8% increase per year.


Deemed Filing Rule for a Person born in 1954 or later


The deemed filing provision applies regardless of a person’s age. A person is precluded from restricting the scope of the application at FRA. This change eliminates the restricted application strategy. A person must file for all benefits they are entitled to receive.


This provision does not apply to a person who can receive retirement or survivor benefits. They can still restrict their application to one benefit and switch to the other benefit later to maximize lifetime benefits.

Effective date: This provision applies to all persons born after 1953.















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