In 2015, a bipartisan Congress secretly pilfered the Social Security Trust Fund and transferred billions to prop up the depleted Disability Insurance Trust Fund by changing two laws: file-and-suspend and restrictive application. These changes affect a majority of baby boomers near retirement.
If you were not age 62 before December 31, 2015, you can no longer file a restrictive application. If you’re age 66 after to April 30, 2016, you can no longer file and suspend. If you still think you may be eligible, talk to a financial advisor who understands Social Security. By removing this key provision in Social Security benefits, Congress believes it’s stopping affluent Americans from collecting the extra income from the file-and-suspend provision. It’s not gaming the system to maximum the benefits you paid for. For the wealthy, the lost income is but a bump on the road to retirement, but for millions of poor and middle-class baby boomers, it’s the end of the road as planned.
The annual savings to the Social Security system will be minimal in the short term, but could actually force poor and middle-income baby boomers to access their benefits sooner than later. If this occurs, the savings from this legislation will evaporate overnight as millions of baby boomers could elect to file for benefits earlier than planned. It could trigger a kind of run on the bank motivated by politicians who are on record stating those near or in retirement would not be affected by “any changes” in Social Security.
Is this the first step in dismantling the Social Security system? If Congress is willing to do this to baby boomers, who are members the first full generation to contribute to Social Security, what lies ahead for succeeding generations? With the elections less than a year away, will those who voted for it pay dearly at the polls, or are they counting on seniors to forget? When it comes to retirement money, there is no dementia.
Syndicated financial columnist and talk show host Steve Savant interviews Tom Hegna, popular platform speaker; best selling author and retirement expert. Tom hosted the PBS Television Special “Don’t Worry Retire Happy.” The television special was designed after Tom’s latest book, “Don’t Worry Retire Happy.” Tom’s first book, “Playchecks and Paychecks” drew critical acclaim from financial advisers and insurance professionals. Right on the Money is a weekly one hour financial talk show for consumers (www.rightonthemoneyshow.com) and is underwritten by CreativeOne, Inc.