Time Running Out on Popular File-and-Suspend Social Security Claiming Strategy

Those eligible must apply by April 29 to take advantage of the benefit-boosting strategy known as file-and-suspend.

Social security card and American money dollar bills close up concept
(Image credit: www.GetUpStudio.com)

One of the most lucrative Social Security strategies ever invented for married couples will soon join the dodo bird in extinction. As of April 30, the government will no longer permit one spouse to file for and immediately suspend benefits in order to open the door for the other spouse to claim spousal benefits. That nixes the benefit-boosting tactic that allowed a family to collect Social Security while one or both spouses accrued delayed-retirement credits, hiking benefits by 8% a year between ages 66 and 70.

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Kevin McCormally
Chief Content Officer, Kiplinger Washington Editors
McCormally retired in 2018 after more than 40 years at Kiplinger. He joined Kiplinger in 1977 as a reporter specializing in taxes, retirement, credit and other personal finance issues. He is the author and editor of many books, helped develop and improve popular tax-preparation software programs, and has written and appeared in several educational videos. In 2005, he was named Editorial Director of The Kiplinger Washington Editors, responsible for overseeing all of our publications and Web site. At the time, Editor in Chief Knight Kiplinger called McCormally "the watchdog of editorial quality, integrity and fairness in all that we do." In 2015, Kevin was named Chief Content Officer and Senior Vice President.