Can I Suspend Benefits Without Paying Back What I've Already Received?

Dec 16 2016 - 11:45am

Thanks for taking this question. Have been getting conflicting answers from 2 different CFPs so here goes. I turned 66 this past August 2016. Applied for and begin receiving my Soc Security benefit at that time. Now 4 months later I realize I do not need the money at this time. Wife is 62 and is entitled to her own benefit which is higher than mine. We plan not to have her apply till age 70. She is not collecting any kind of Spousal Benefit. At this point can I suspend my benefit to a future date say 68-70 without having to pay back the past 5 months of benefits I have received? I realize I would need to pay for my Medicare premiums on my own as I did between age 65 till I reached 66. Having not applied till I was at FRA 66..do I have to pay back or can I suspend my benefit at this time and collect a higher number in the future? thanks again....Earl

Hi Earl,

Yes, you can suspend and resume your benefits at any time between ages 66 and 70. The only limitation is that the earliest that you could suspend your benefits is the month following the month of your request. And, once in suspense, the earliest that you could resume benefits is the month after the month in which you request reinstatement.

Obviously, though, you will only receive delayed retirement credits for the months that your benefits are suspended, and not for the months that you received benefits.

Best, Jerry

Best, Jerry