Advertisement
retirement

New Rules for Social Security Spousal Benefits

Beneficiaries will no longer be able to take advantage of certain claiming strategies under new bill.

I’m receiving about $1,200 a month in Social Security spousal benefits under a "file and suspend" strategy based on my husband's employment record. I see Congress is about to eliminate the right to do this. Will they make me pay back the money I've received? I've already spent it.

Don't worry. Although the budget deal working its way through Congress would end the "file and suspend" strategy, there’s no provision for making folks who've taken advantage of this entirely legal tactic pay back the benefits. In fact, a last-minute amendment to the bill leaves the file-and-suspend window open for six months. Assuming the budget bill passes and is signed by President Obama, here's how the new rule will work: Six months after the law is enacted, the file-and-suspend strategy will disappear. For folks who apply after that time (probably around May 1, 2016), the Social Security Administration will no longer pay spousal benefits based on the record of a husband or wife who suspends his or her own benefit in order to earn delayed-retirement credits. Since you're already receiving benefits, you’re grandfathered in. The money will keep flowing.

Advertisement
Advertisement

Most Popular

What Trump's Payroll Tax Cut Will Mean for You
Tax Breaks

What Trump's Payroll Tax Cut Will Mean for You

President Trump issued an executive order to suspend the collection of Social Security payroll taxes. How much will it save you?
August 10, 2020
7 Surprisingly Valuable Assets for a Happy Retirement
happy retirement

7 Surprisingly Valuable Assets for a Happy Retirement

If you want a long and fulfilling retirement, you need more than money. Here are the most valuable retirement assets to have (besides money), and how …
August 3, 2020
Kip ETF 20: The Best Cheap ETFs
ETFs

Kip ETF 20: The Best Cheap ETFs

You can build a solid core for your portfolio and explore new opportunities with our favorite low-cost exchange-traded funds.
July 28, 2020

Recommended

14 Social Security Tasks You Can Do Online
retirement

14 Social Security Tasks You Can Do Online

Why visit a government office to get your Social Security business done? You can do much of that online.
June 26, 2020
What Trump's Payroll Tax Cut Will Mean for You
Tax Breaks

What Trump's Payroll Tax Cut Will Mean for You

President Trump issued an executive order to suspend the collection of Social Security payroll taxes. How much will it save you?
August 10, 2020
Calculating Taxes on Social Security Benefits
social security

Calculating Taxes on Social Security Benefits

Uncle Sam can tax up to 85% of your Social Security benefits if you have other sources of income, such as earnings from work or withdrawals from tax-d…
August 4, 2020
Turning 60 in 2020? Expect Lower Social Security Benefits
Coronavirus and Your Money

Turning 60 in 2020? Expect Lower Social Security Benefits

When you file for Social Security, the amount you receive may be lower.
July 30, 2020