Ask Larry

Is The True File and Suspend Deadline Actually Four Months After April 29, 2016?

Dear Mr. Kotlikoff,

I have read your postings regarding the ambiguity in the 'file and suspend' deadline with great interest. As you know, Mr. Avram Sacks proposes that the May 1 deadline could actually be extended by four months. I was born on 30 Jun 1950, so I and directly mid-ships in this dispute. We applied for 'file and suspend' prior to the 29 April deadline, and were told, categorically by an SSA representative that we would be able to take advantage of the provision, as we were allowed to file up to 4 months before Full Retirement Age (FRA). As events transpired, the application for filing and suspension was sent to the payment office, where it was subsequently denied. FYI, I had the pleasure of speaking with Mr. Sacks two weeks ago. He gave me 30 minutes of his time pro bono (amazing). Nonetheless, I am now faced with writing and appeal to SSA. -- Any suggestions? Thanks in advance -- Stuart

Dear Stuart,

As you can read by clicking More Press at the home page of, I've written about Avram Sacks legal opinion that the legally correct deadline is four months after April 29th. I think that Attorney Sacks has the law right, but it may require someone like you to go through the entire, lengthy appeals process and finally get to a federal judge who actually cares about the letter of the law.

If our software, which treats the April 29th deadline as correct, says that the best thing for you to do, given your birthdate and other household inputs, is to wait, say, till 70 to collect and to have your wife do the same, then going through this appeals process may not cost you much apart from your time. I just don't want you to postpone following what the software says is your best strategy in the hopes of winning this legal fight. I think the chances are small. But, again, if the software says you should be making any moves in the near term, then you do have the time to contest this. Keep me and Avram posted.

best, Larry

Jul 4 2016 - 9:45am
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