Should I File And Suspend My Benefits?

Category: 
Feb 23 2017 - 7:15am

I have read the answers to the question "Should I file and suspend?" for inquirers of FRA and the consistent response seems to be there is no advantage to doing that. However, I thought I had read somewhere recently that a benefit to filing and suspending at FRA is that if I should need to file later in the year, I can get the full back benefits and not just the six months. In other words, if I file and suspend now, at 66, and in 10 months find I need to file for benefits, I would get all 10 months back benefits if I had filed and suspended, but if I do not file and suspend, I can only get 6 months back benefits. Is that correct? And is there any NEGATIVE impact on filing and suspending at FRA? Thank you.

Hi,

The amendments passed by Congress in 2015 largely eliminated all of the advantages to filing and suspending benefits. In addition to eliminating payment of benefits to family members while benefits are suspended, the amendments also eliminated the option of claiming retroactive payment for the months that benefits were suspended (https://secure.ssa.gov/apps10/poms.nsf/lnx/0202409130).

If you file and suspend your benefits, the earliest that you could reinstate payments is the month after the month in which you request reinstatement. In other words, no back pay at all, including the months that your benefits were suspended. On the other hand, if you simply delay filing altogether, you could claim benefits up to 6 months retroactively when you eventually file an application.

You may want to consider running the maximization software available on this website in order to explore your filing options. The software is fully updated to handle all of the 2015 Social Security amendments.

Best, Jerry