On November 2, 2015 the President signed HR-1314, the “Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015 .” This law eliminated the file and suspend option for most Social Security  applicants and changed the restricted application rules. These filing strategies allowed couples to increase their lifetime total payout.
If you are now at full retirement age and planning to file and suspend you have 180 days from the date the bill was signed to apply. My wife and I are planning to file and suspend this February. We will be in one of the last groups that will be allowed to take advantage of this strategy.
Filing and suspending permits the higher earning spouse, at their full retirement age , to file for benefits and then immediately suspend them. The lower earning spouse then applies for and collects a higher spousal benefit. The lower earning spouse increases their monthly payment up to half of their spouse’s benefit and the person suspending their benefit increases their benefit 8% a year  for those born after 1943 or later. The spouse that suspends their payment until age 70 would receive 132% of the monthly benefit for delaying collecting benefits for 48 months.
Another option many used to only collect a spousal benefit, while their benefit continued to grow, was for one person to file a “restricted” application at full retirement age. This option will no longer be available for anyone turning 62 in 2016 or later and you must now apply for and claim all eligible benefits. They did allow an exception for anyone that will be 62 or older in 2015. A restricted application for a spousal benefit only will still be permitted for this group.
If you are already enrolled in these options there is no change, you are grandfathered under the law. Neither of these two strategies can now be used if you were born on or after January 2, 1954.
Other changes include initiatives to reduce fraud through the expansion of their Cooperative Disability Investigation Units and by implementing new and stronger penalties.
Retiree Employment Update
Employers recruiting federal retirees and those soon to retire post job vacancies on our Jobs Center . Recently Adams Consulting Group LLC in New York City posted two openings, one for a HR Payroll & Benefits Manager and another for Senior Accountant. Both pay 6 figure salaries. Visit our Jobs Board  for complete details.
Private companies, contractors, and state government departments use our Jobs Board to hire skilled federal retirees for part and full time positions nationwide. Many opportunities exist for those looking to supplement their retirement income or to start a second career. We provide this free job listing service to companies that are seeking to hire experienced retired federal workers.
Government Executive Magazine  published its final print issue this December. I’ve been a loyal subscriber and reader for over 30 years and thankfully it will continue to be available online. I sent Tom Shoop, their Executive Vice President, a note congratulating him on their transition to digital and thanked him for the services they continue to provide.
They provide a wealth of information for anything and everything federal and I often mention Tammy Flanagan’s retirement planning  articles on our web site and in my retirement planning column. To avoid missing an issue visit their subscription page  to sign up for publications and newsletters of interest. They list four daily government news groups; Government Executive, Nextgov, Defense One, and Route Fifty. You will also find many other newsletters focusing on technology, government careers, and other related areas.
Request a Retirement Benefits Summary & Analysis . Includes projected annuity payments, income verses expenses, FEGLI, and TSP projections.
Helpful Retirement Planning Tools
Distribute these FREE tools to others that are planning their retirement
- Retirement Planning Guide 
- Master Retiree Contact List  (Important contact numbers and information)
- How to be Financially Prepared When You Retire 
- How to be Emotionally and Physically Prepared When You Retire 
- 2016 Leave & Schedule Excel Chart (FREE Excel chart tracks actual leave balances)
- Survivor’s Guide 
- Estate Planning Guide (An 11 part series that will help readers prepare for retirement, understand basic estate planning techniques, and compile their personal “Survivor’s Guide” binder.)
Visit our other informative sites
- Federal Government Jobs & Career Center 
- Federal Employee’s Career Development & IDP Center 
The information provided may not cover all aspect of unique or special circumstances, federal regulations, medical procedures, and financial information are subject to change. To ensure the accuracy of this information, contact relevant parties and ask them to review your official personnel file and circumstances concerning this issue. Retirees can contact the OPM retirement center. Our article is not intended nor should it be considered investment advice and our articles and replies are time sensitive. Over time, various dynamic economic factors relied upon as a basis for this article may change. The advice and strategies contained herein may not be suitable for your situation and this service is not affiliated with OPM or any federal entity. You should consult with a financial, medical or human resource professional where appropriate. Neither the publisher or author shall be liable for any loss or any other commercial damages, including but not limited to special, incidental, consequential, or other damages.
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