Social Security Most Common Questions-File and Suspend

File and Suspend–Social Security Most Common Questions #4

Confusion between “File and Suspend” and “Claim and Switch” Solved

Caller #4-Ron. I did the file and suspend spousal benefit at 66 and I’m now 68. I get half of my wife’s Full Retirement Age benefit. When I go on the Social Security website, I don’t see the 8% increase in my benefit. I just see what I’m getting now.

Answer-We have some confusion here in terminology. Ron did not File and Suspend. When his wife reached Full Retirement Age she filed. Her Filing allowed him to collect spousal support on her record. Only the primary spouse can File and Suspend.

What Ron is doing is taking advantage of the Claim and Switch. He is currently collecting spousal support which is 50% of his wife’s benefit. He plans on switching to 100% of his own benefit when he turns 70. Between the years 66 and 70 Ron’s benefit will increase 8% per year.

The Social Security website is not showing his 8% increase and this concerns him. The SSA website shows your working history and estimated benefits. When you are receiving benefits, it will show that amount. The website doesn’t anticipate your plan for the future and, therefore, will give only current information. When Ron switches to his own benefit at age 70, he’ll see the increase online. In the meantime he can do a rough calculation by adding 8% for each year.


Note: Both the “File and Suspend” as well as the” Claim and Switch” rules have changed. Ron and his wife are grandfathered in because they are already collecting and have reached the appropriate ages”.

For more information, see The New Social Security Law

Josh Jalinski, the Financial Quarterback, WOR Radio NYC and Donna Davis Answer Caller’s Questions 

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