NY Society of CPAs: “Social Security Filing Strategies Under the New Rules”
Author: Ash Ahluwalia
For most Americans, social security retirement benefits typically represent 30 to 60% of their retirement income. Yet according to the National Social Security Association, LLC, over 90% of social security recipients receive less money than they are entitled to receive. For many filers, this can represent tens of thousands of dollars in lost retirement benefits.
These results are not surprising when you consider the sheer complexity of the social security system. There are over 2,700 rules that govern social security! Agents at the Social Security Administration (SSA) are also prohibited from providing advice on filing strategies or on the taxation of benefits, and not all of them are aware of the 2,700 rules.
The SSA website does provide valuable information but the filing rules can be extremely complex and confusing. For example, a typical married couple has over 567 possible ways to file for their benefits. If you are divorced or widowed, the filing rules can be even more complex. If that wasn’t enough, Social Security introduced a number of “new rules” as a result of the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015. Given these new rules and the already high level of complexity, how can you be sure you are not leaving eligible benefits on the table?