How Will Our Benefits Be Affected If I Voluntarily Suspend My Benefits?

May 30 2018 - 7:49pm

My question concerns voluntary suspension of benefits. I started taking my Soc Sec benefit at age 62 (birth date 01/22/1952). I am now 66 which I believe is my full retirement age. If I was to request a voluntary suspension of my benefit would the amount of my benefit increase during the time it's suspended until I resume taking it at age 70? If so, how much? Also, my wife (birth date 5/10/1951) has been receiving a spousal benefit in addition to her own benefit since I filed at age 62 . How will she be affected if I decide to suspend my benefit?
Thank you for considering my question.

Hi,

Your benefit rate would go up if you voluntarily suspend your benefits, and the increase would amount to 2/3rds of 1% for each month (8% per year) that you aren't paid benefits between your full retirement age of 66 and age 70.

The plus side of suspending your benefits, as noted above, would be that your benefit amount would be higher after your benefits are reinstated. Furthermore, the higher rate that you would then receive could be passed on to your wife as a widow should you die before her.

The downside is that you would not be paid any benefits during the suspension period, nor could your wife be paid spousal benefits while your benefits are suspended (https://www.ssa.gov/planners/retire/suspendfaq.html). So, your wife would only be paid her own retirement benefit rate during that time. And, any increase in your benefit rate that results from suspending your benefits would not increase your wife's spousal rate when your benefits are reinstated.

You may want to consider using our software to compare your options so that you can determine whether the positives of suspending your benefits would outweigh the negatives in your case.

Best, Jerry