Understanding Social Security and Medicare Flipbook_2023

The Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015 made some changes to the rules for claiming retirement and spousal benefits. Restricted Application for Spousal Benefit New rules: Eligibility for this strategy is limited to married individuals who were born on or before January 1, 1954. Upon reaching full retirement age (FRA), eligible individuals could file a “restricted application” for a spouse-only benefit and earn delayed retirement credits on their own work records. Later, they could switch to their potentially higher worker benefit amount, which would reach its maximum value at age 70. If attempted before FRA, they would be stuck with a permanently lower spousal benefit. An eligible individual can utilize this strategy even if his or her spouse claims Social Security worker benefits before reaching full retirement age. Deemed Filing New rules: Deemed filing now applies to everyone, even those who are full retirement age or older. If you are eligible for both your own worker benefit and a spousal benefit when you file for Social Security, you will be deemed to be filing for both and will receive the higher of the two amounts. If you apply for your worker benefit and later qualify for a higher combined benefit (when your spouse claims Social Security), you would receive an additional amount automatically. Old “file and suspend” strategy: This strategy ended as of April 30, 2016. Although the ability to suspend benefits upon reaching full retirement age is still available, no benefits will be paid to you or to your dependents during the suspension period. Social Security Claiming Rules 3.75% Average annual cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) since 1975. Inflation was too low to trigger a COLA for 2010, 201 1, and 2016. The COLA for 2023 was 8.7%. Source: Social Security Administration, 2022