Can SS benefits be delayed after already filing?
If both spouses (ages 62 and 65) have already filed for SS, can the filing status still be altered to allow the lower earner to suspend and receive spousal benefit?
Here's a comment from the SSA web site:
"Unexpected changes may occur after you make your decision about when to start your Social Security Retirement benefits.
If you are receiving Social Security Retirement benefits and you change your mind about when they should start, you may be able to withdraw your Social Security claim and re-apply at a future date.
However, if you change your mind 12 months or more after you became entitled to retirement benefits, you cannot withdraw your application."
Hope this helps!
This is an important subject that many retirees and pre-retirees are not up to speed on. It is incredibly advantageous to claim the spousal benefit in cases where the spouse's own benefit dwarfs in comparison to the spousal benefit. If you change your mind on when you want to begin receiving benefits, there is a 12 month window for you to make the change. After this 12 month period, there is nothing you can do to change your filing. However, in order to change your filing, you must pay back all of the benefits you received during that 12 month period.This may be difficult if you don't have spare cash or a liquid asset you can sell to repay the benefits you received. It is important to run some numbers and determine how long it would take you to recoup that money when receiving the new, increased spousal benefit. For example, if you received a benefit of $600 per month for 12 months, you would have to pay back $7,200. However, if your spouse's benefit is $2,500 and you receive the spousal benefit (half of that) of $1,250 you would recoup that $7,200 within approx. 6 months! As you can see, sometimes paying back the benefits you have received is well worth the initial cash outlay. I have also included a link from the Social Security website that explains this process in greater detail and also includes instructions for how to pay back your benefits. I hope this helps you in making your Social Security decision!
I know that several others have already answered this question in various ways. The rules changed with the passage of the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015. Under that law, anyone that attained age 62 on January 1, 2016 or after could not take spousal benefits only while letting their benefit grow.
Thus if you were born prior to January 1, 1954 and have not taken Social Security yet, at your Full Retirement Age (FRA) - which is 66 - you could elect the spousal benefit and let your own benefit grow if your spouse is taking their Social Security benefits. If you file for Social Security prior to your FRA, your benefit is the combination of your benefit and your spousal benefit (if higher).