Ask Larry

Are My Wife And I Grandfathered Under The File And Suspend Option?

Jerry - Am getting mixed guidance on whether my wife and I are eligible for file and suspend, or restricted application. We are both currently 63 and will reach FRA of 66 yrs old in June and August of 2019.
We thought that we were grandfathered for the file-and-suspend option since we both were age 62 as of 1 Jan 2015. We recall that criteria (being 62 on 1 Jan 2015) as allowing us to retain that Option when we get to our FRA. Therefore, we thought that we can still exercise that Option in 2019.
Are we mistaken?


You and your wife were both grandfathered under the new deeming laws passed by Congress in 2015 (, but not under the new voluntary suspension rules ( You would have to have turned age 66 by April 2016 in order to have been grandfathered under the new voluntary suspension rules.

What that means is that you or your wife could potentially file for spousal benefits only at age 66, and let your own benefit rate grow until age 70. But, one of you will actually have to be drawing your own retirement benefits in order for the other to receive spousal benefits. Under the old rules, spousal benefits could be paid on the account of a worker who voluntarily suspended their benefits, but that's no longer true for voluntary suspensions requested after April 29 2016.

You may want to consider running the maximization software available on this website in order to determine the best filing strategy for you and your wife.

Best, Jerry

Jan 25 2017 - 7:00am
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