Social Security Changes

Kelsey Brennan |

by Rachel DeCarolis, CFP ®

Congress made significant changes to Social Security collection strategies last fall, which left many of our clients wondering if and how they would be affected. Here is a brief summary of the changes:

No more “file and suspend”. For those who did not reach their Full Retirement Age by 4/30/16, they will no longer be allowed to file and suspend benefits (a strategy often used to allow a spouse or dependents to claim benefits on your record, meanwhile delaying your own collection in order for your benefit to grow).

What is my Full Retirement Age?

Year of Birth

Full Retirement Age

1937 or earlier



65 and 2 months


65 and 4 months


65 and 6 months


65 and 8 months


65 and 10 months

1943 - 1954



66 and 2 months


66 and 4 months


66 and 6 months


66 and 8 months


66 and 10 months

1960 and later



Restricted Application no longer allowed for those turning 62 in 2016 or later. Now, when you apply for benefits, you are deemed to have applied for ALL available benefits. This means that if your own benefit is higher than your spousal benefit, you cannot receive the lower benefit then switch to your own higher benefit later. *Note this does not apply to anyone who turned 62 by 12/31/15.

For our clients, we have reviewed each case individually and updated their plan accordingly. If you are not a client, but are wondering how these changes will affect you and how Social Security plays into your overall retirement plan, please give our office a call so that we may help you get the most out of your collection strategy.