The Social Security File and Suspend Strategy

by Jeff C. Johnson

A few years ago, during a decade of soft investment market returns, planners, stockbrokers and financial institutions realized the value of maximizing Social Security income by making a savvy SSI claiming decision.

One of the strategies involved “filing and suspending” payments, which allowed a spouse to first collect based on her spouse’s earnings record, then elect to claim her own SSI at age 70. This allowed her to collect her own SSI plus 32%. For life!

A pretty big difference for people who expect to enjoy long lives and collection of SSI for many years … a 32% increase for life.

In October 2015 Congress amended the File and Suspend strategy effective May 1, 2016, with no warning, discussion, or comments.

If you are age 62 or older prior to December 31, 2015, you may have the opportunity to put this potentially profitable claiming strategy to work for you.

See your financial professional, tax adviser, or other knowledgeable source of information on this topic. A trip to the local Social Security Administration office might be worth the time and trouble involved.