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Social Security: File and Suspend in 5 Easy Slides
Why Married Couples Should Consider File & Suspend Spousal benefits aren’t available until the primary worker files for Social Security benefits. The longer the primary worker waits to receive benefits, the more delayed retirement credits are available. The file and suspend strategy is designed to give couples the most benefits available under two separate but important rules: Source: SSA.
How File and Suspend Works The primary worker files for benefits but immediately suspends them, delaying payments until a later date. The filing allows the worker’s spouse to claim spousal benefits immediately. But suspending benefits allows the worker to earn delayed retirement credits. Under the file and suspend strategy: Source: DavidYork71 and Mike Gravel, via Wikimedia Commons.
The Long-Term Payoff of File and Suspend Delayed retirement credits can add up to 32% more to your Social Security benefit compared to what you’d receive by claiming at full retirement age of 66.
How File and Suspend Helps Spouses Typical benefit is one-half of worker’s benefit, adjusted for claiming age. For spouses with little work history, the spousal benefit can be a substantial boost to income otherwise available from Social Security. File and suspend lets a spouse file for spousal benefits. Source: SSA Office of the Inspector General.
Things to Remember on File and Suspend Source: SSA. There are a few important rules you need to follow with the file and suspend strategy. File and suspend only works if the primary worker waits until full retirement age to do so. Early filers aren’t allowed to suspend benefits in a way that generates delayed retirement credits. A spouse can file for spousal benefits before full retirement age under the strategy, subject to normal reductions for early filers. Both spouses can’t do the file and suspend strategy simultaneously; couples have to pick one spouse to file. Spouses with their own worker benefits can combine file and suspend with a restricted application under some circumstances.
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