Ask Larry

If I Suspend My Benefits In The Year I Turn Age 70 Will I Immediately Receive An Increase When I Resume My Benefits At Age 70?

I started collecting SS at FRA (i.e. 66) in 2020. In 2024 (the year I turn 70) I'm considering Suspending for 5 or 6 months to earn some DRCs. I remember reading somewhere that age 70 is an occasion when, under the right circumstances, my PIA can be immediately recalculated to include DRCs. I *think* the "right circumstances" would be me Resuming the month I turn 70. Correct? My birth month is October so for example, I could Suspend April, Resume October (for 4% DRC boost), and immediately re-start at the higher PIA? Correct? And assuming the April/October scenario, I would receive SS checks Jan-Apr (original PIA) and Nov-Dec (boosted PIA) that year. Correct?

Hi. Yes, if you reach age 70 in October 2024 and if you voluntarily suspend your benefits for any months in 2024 prior to October, then the delayed retirement credits (DRC) you earn would be credited to your benefit rate effective with your benefit payment for the month of October. DRCs increase a person's benefit rate by 2/3rds of 1% per month, or 8% per year, so if you suspend benefits for 6 months it will raise your benefit rate by 4%. I can't promise you that Social Security will process your increase immediately, but when they do process the recomputation they will pay you any back pay due.

Just to clarify, though, DRCs don't actually increase a person's primary insurance amount (PIA). A person's PIA is equal to their Social Security retirement benefit rate if they start drawing their benefits at full retirement age (FRA). Instead, the percentage increase caused by DRCs is applied to the person's PIA (or reduced benefit rate if they started collecting benefits prior to FRA), resulting in a higher monthly benefit rate.

Best, Jerry

Sep 13 2022 - 12:13pm
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