Can My Husband Suspend His Benefits Now And Start Drawing Them Again At Full Retirement Age?

Mar 5 2019 - 4:30pm

Hello,
I bought your wonderful book but still have questions, maybe you can assist me. My husband took early social security at 62, in year 2017. He lost alot of money doing so but we needed the money. Can he suspend his social security now and start it again at his full retirement age,, thereby entitling him to his full social security payment he would have got if he had waited until reaching 66 and 2 months? Can he suspend and reapply at his full retirement age at any time or is there a cut off date where you are allowed to do that? I am not taking the spousal annuity because Iit may be that my own social security, if I wait until full retirement age, may be larger than taking the spousal annuity. Also, is the spousal annuity based on the spouses full retirement amount or just on the amount that he is given when he took it at 62?
Thanks for your help!!!

Hi,

No, your husband couldn't voluntarily suspend his benefits until he reaches his full retirement age (FRA). Nor could he get a do-over by withdrawing his claim and repaying the benefits he's received, assuming that he's been drawing his benefits for more than 12 months (https://www.ssa.gov/planners/retire/withdrawal.html). If your husband does suspend his benefits at FRA, he would earn delayed retirement credits (DRC) of 2/3rds of 1% for each month that he suspends his benefits between FRA and age 70.

Unreduced spousal benefits are calculated based on 50% of the worker's full retirement age rate, or primary insurance amount (PIA), regardless of at what age the worker started drawing benefits. Unless you were born prior to January 2 1954, though, you could only draw spousal benefits if 50% of your husband's PIA is higher than your own PIA. You may want to strongly consider using our software to explore and compare your options so that you can choose the best possible strategy for claiming your benefits. The software would also allow your husband to determine what effect suspending his benefits at FRA would have on his subsequent benefit rate.

Best, Jerry