Social Security

File And Suspend Social Security Benefit? It’s Over

The recent budget agreement eliminates the practice of filing and then suspending one spouses SS benefit in order to increase that benefit with age.

Here’s more detail from Forbes

The budget agreement would effectively eliminate file and suspend strategies by extending a concept called “deemed filing.” Currently, deemed filing does not continue past one’s full retirement age. The budget agreement will extend the deemed filing rule until the age of 70. Once a married person hits age 62, he or she is usually entitled to a retirement benefit under Social Security. Additionally, that spouse might be entitled to a spousal benefit based on his/her spouse’s retirement benefit. 

From age 62 until full retirement age, if a person files for benefits it will be considered a deemed filing at which point he must collect both his spousal and retirement benefits with Social Security paying only the larger of the two benefits. 

However, before the current budget agreement the deemed filing rule stopped immediately at one’s full retirement age, allowing him to choose between his retirement benefit or the spousal benefit. Many people would defer their worker’s benefit at full retirement age and collect the spousal benefit instead. Under the new rules, this choice will no longer be available


5 replies »

  1. As a taxpayer I am glad this loophole has been closed. Why should someone be able to draw money early as a spouse and then switch to their own higher benefit later? You can’t have your cake and eat it too, anymore. No more double dipping. I realize that if I file at 62 my benefit check will forever be reduced, but from age 62 to my full retirement age I will collect $56,420. Why should anyone think that the monthly check should be increased at full retirement age is beyond me. I believe in the future Social security may have to do away with the spousal benefit for higher earners. Example my brother in law will get the max benefit when he retires $2,663 and his wife who never paid a dime into SS will get $1,331=$47,928 per year. $1,331 is more than the average for current retirees who paid into SS their entire working life. If they wait until age 70 the benefit will grow to $3,576+1788=$64,368. That is almost 5 times the average SS benefit. We cannot continue on this path without raising taxes.

    The median wage in the US per person is $26,695. This tells us a lot since the median household income is at $50,500. Since the Census data looks at households, this data hones in on individual wage earners. 66 percent of Americans earn less than $41,212.Dec 31, 2012.


  2. Mr Quinn First of all I so appreciate your informational emails! I am 64 and have been claiming Social Security WIDOW benefits since age 60. My plan was to switch to my own SS at age 70. Do you think this new deemed filing rule will effect me? Kind Regards, Barb


  3. its bad enuf that the amt received is truly not enuf to live on..esp if u have to, due to financial issues, file early..i feel that just because a person files early..that once they do turn 65 or 66 ..whatever it is now..that their benefits be increased to what they would have received if they did wait..i think what the rule is unfair..this needs to be changed.. there are alot of older people struggling out there


    • I hope you realize that the amount you receive is based on your earnings and those of a spouse in many cases. In addition, reducing the benefit for early retirement merely says you will get the same total amount of money over your lifetime. If you collect money for a longer period of time (from 62) it must be less per month to equal what you would collect for a shorter period from age 66 for example. If the benefit started at age 62 and then increased at age 66 it would create additional costs for the trust and there would be no reason for everyone not to collect like that quickly bankrupting the system.


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