Ask Larry

Is It True That I'm Now Stuck With My Age 62 Rate?

When I initially made the application,, at 62 yoa, it included my two minor daughters. I was actually only interested in receiving benefits in the event of a major alteration in my ability to work. As it turned out, my daughters (adopted) were denied because of a particular proof of citizenship form social security required but not required for adoption. I assumed the application would not remain in effect. Sometime later I was advised benefits would be suspended (I continued to work). Since I was not receiving benefits, nor have I ever, I was not concerned about looking into it further. However, I am now being told that my benefits may be impacted. I am now 66 yoa. Even though I have never received benefits, I am being told by Social Security administrators that my benefit now will be the same amount it would have been at 62 yoa. I am still not interested in receiving the benefits. I am hoping to continue working. An agent recently told me that I would not be eligible to increase my benefits by waiting until I am 70yoa unless I withdrew my application. Of course withdrawal is only allowed within the 12 months after initial application, Apparently all that I have past in over the last 4-5 years is of no consequence. This does not seem right

Hi. The agent who told you that you'd have to withdraw your application in order to delay starting your benefits until age 70 was, at a minimum, not giving you the full story. What you can do instead is request voluntary suspension ( of your benefits starting with the month you reach full retirement age (FRA). In order to suspend your benefits effective with the earliest possible month, though, you need to submit your request to Social Security no later than the month prior to the month you reach your FRA. You can suspend your benefits at any point between FRA and age 70, but no sooner than the month after the month you submit the suspension request.

Voluntary suspension requests can be submitted either verbally or in writing. So, if you call Social Security and they tell you that you can't suspend your benefits then you should submit your request in writing. Also, you can direct their attention to example 2 in the following section of Social Security's operations manual: You can submit your written request to your nearest office by mail using a form SSA-795: You can find your nearest office's address using Social Security's office locator:

One thing you can't do, though, is voluntarily suspend your benefits for any months prior to the month you reach FRA. So, if your earnings end up being low enough to allow you to be paid for any months prior to your FRA, your permanent benefit rate will suffer at least somewhat due to those payments. You won't be stuck with your age 62 rate, though. At some point after you reach FRA, Social Security should adjust your benefit rate to remove the reduction applied for any months that you weren't paid benefits prior to FRA due to your earnings. That could restore your benefit rate to your full unreduced amount provided that you aren't paid benefits for any months prior to your FRA.

Best, Jerry

Feb 19 2022 - 8:24am
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