First of all, let me stress that no one who is currently collecting Social Security Benefits will be affected by the prospective changes to rules determining who can file and suspend Social Security benefits to allow a spouse, dependent or disabled child to collect auxiliary benefits while the wage earner’s retirement benefits continues to grow until age 70.
Second, as of this writing, the Social Security Administration has not yet issued any official guidance on the new rules. Consequently, industry experts are left to their own to interpret the effective date of the new regulation. Unless SSA issues an official pronouncement, I will assume that April 30, 2016 , is the deadline (180 after the budget signature on November 2, 2015) for requests to file and suspend under current rules. That means any one born on May 1, 1950 or earlier can still file and suspend under existing rules by April 30,2016.
Separately, anyone who is 62 or older by the end of 2015 retains the right to claim spousal benefits when they turn 66, allowing their own benefits to accrue delayed retirement credits of 8% a year until age 70.
Divorce and Social Security Benefits
Divorced? Under current law, a divorced individual who is 66 or older and was married at least 10 years, but is currently unmarried can claim a benefit based on the ex-spouse’s earnings record while allowing his or her own benefits to grow. A former spouse is generally entitled to file such a claim once annex turns 62.
Widow/Widower and Social Security Benefits
Generally, widows and widowers won’t be affected by the new law.
Longevity and Social Security Benefits
Beyond the new regulations, consider longevity in your considerations. If you believe the system will not be around, illness, or your family history, you may want to take SS early. If your family has longevity, you don’t need it right now, feel the system will be around, then wait until age 70 to take your benefit. Remember, at this time your benefit grows by 8% a year until you start taking your benefit.
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