Ask Larry

Does What I Read On Social Security's Website Mean That Since I Was Born In 1955 I Can't Put My Own Benefits On Hold And Collect Half Of My Husband's Benefit Amount?

Hello Larry,

In researching our plan to request social security benefits I ran across this statement on the social security administration's website. Does it mean that since I was born in 1955, that I cannot take advantage of filing for my benefits, putting them on hold, and then receiving 1/2 of my husband's benefits? He will be 70 in October of this year and he plans to file for his benefits then.

"If your spouse’s birthday is January 2, 1954 or later, the option to take only one benefit at full retirement age no longer exists. If your spouse files for one benefit, they will be effectively filing for all retirement or spousal benefits."

Thank you for your assistance.


Hi Lisa. Yes, Congress amended the Social Security law in 2015 to prevent people born after January 1 1954 from collecting spousal benefits while allowing their own benefit rate to grow until age 70 ( Since you were born after January 1 1954, whenever you apply for either your own benefits or for spousal benefits you'll be deemed to be filing for both benefits. In that case, you can only be paid essentially the higher of the 2 benefit rates, and your rate will be reduced for age if you start drawing prior to your full retirement age (FRA).

Best, Jerry

Jun 21 2021 - 3:31pm
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