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Social Security Deadline Fast Approaching

April 29th, 2016.

That is the current deadline for individuals to make Social Security claims under pre-existing rules before certain often-used strategies become redundant.

Filing and suspending under current rules by the April 29th deadline allows a worker to trigger benefits for a spouse or dependent child while their own benefit continues to grow by 8% per year up to the age of 70. A person also has the right to request a lump sum payout of suspended benefits any time up to the same age rather than collecting the delayed retirement bonus.

Requests to file and suspend submitted after the deadline will be subject to a new set of rules. No-one will be able to collect benefits on a worker's earnings record during a suspension. The new rules, which came about after the budget resolution Congress passed last year, also specifically eliminates the lump sum payout option which can be particularly valuable for single people who have no spouse to collect a survivor benefit after their death.

The Social Security Administration has said it will honor requests to file-and-suspend benefits that are received before April 30th, even if the agency is unable to process applications until after the deadline.

“If you submit your request before April 30, 2016, and your spouse or children become entitled to benefits either before or after that date, they will not be affected by the new rules and they will continue to receive payments,” the Social Security Administration said in documents posted on its website to explain the new rules.

Survivor benefits are unchanged under the new law. Anyone who is entitled to both their own retirement benefits and benefits as a surviving spouse will still be able to claim one type of benefit first and switch to the other later if it would result in a bigger benefit.

The April deadline is rapidly looming and the time is now to claim using the soon-to-expire strategies if you are eligible.

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