RETIREMENT – ANDY LANDISCongress tweaked one rule for spousal benefits in in last year’s Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015 (BBA 2015). Since then confusion reigns supreme. No, spousal payments didn’t end on April 30. Instead, an obscure claiming strategy will phase out in four years.

You’re affected if you were born after Jan. 1, 1954, and you’re a “dualie” — dually eligible for your own Social Security plus a spousal benefit from your current or former spouse. (Widows and widowers are not affected.)

Under the old rules, dualies who claimed Social Security before Full Retirement Age (FRA, currently 66) had to take both benefits. You got a “bundled deal,” like a meal special with fries whether you want them or not. No substitutions!

However, there was a cool exception under the old rules. If you waited until your FRA to file, you could file a “Restricted Application” for only your spousal payment and delay your own Social Security. No more bundled deal. Why do that? Click here to read my full post on my blog/website.

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