The End is Approaching for Popular Social Security “File and Suspend” Strategy

April 8, 2016

An important deadline is coming up regarding changes to the popular “File and Suspend” Social Security strategy.

This strategy allows a worker, who has reached full retirement age, to file for Social Security benefits but immediately suspend the payment of those benefits while allowing the worker’s spouse to file for spousal benefits. The worker’s benefit continues to grow until age 70. This strategy is being phased out on May 2, 2016 as part of the 2015 Bipartisan Budget Act.


As of May 2, 2016, filing and suspending will no longer allow a spouse to claim benefits off the suspending spouse’s earnings record. The spouse who is filing will actually have to begin taking their benefits in order for his or her spouse to be eligible for spousal benefits. This rule change can have a significant financial impact on the retirements of those who were planning on implementing the “File and Suspend” strategy. You will not be impacted if you have already filed and suspended. However, if you were born on or before May 1, 1950, you are still eligible to file and suspend as long you do so by April 30, 2016.


If you have any questions regarding your Social Security situation and how these new rule changes may affect you, please contact our AHP Financial Services team at 1-800-672-9690. Our financial advisors have significant Social Security planning experience and are available to assist you.

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