What Does the End of 'File and Suspend' Mean for Farmers?

November 19, 2015 12:00 PM
What Does the End of 'File and Suspend' Mean for Farmers?

If you’re around 66 years old and thinking of retirement, Paul Neiffer, The Farm CPA, says you might want to look into the Social Security Administration's "file and suspend" option now—before it’s too late.

The "file and suspend" option allows a retiring farmer to file for social security benefits, at full retirement age, and their spouse could receive a benefit based on the farmer’s earnings. The farmer could then choose to suspend this payment until age 70 and earn an additional 8% per year, which could tabulate into a 32% increase in monthly social security benefits.

After April 30, 2016, this will no longer be an option.

Paul Neiffer explains:

Have you considered the "File and Suspend" option? What did you decide? Let us know in the comments. 

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Spell Check

Jo Windmann
Mexico, MO
11/30/2015 01:58 PM

  Great question, Jim. According to Paul Neiffer, normally the farmer has to file and suspend by approximately April 30, 2016 (it may be May 2, not April 30). Unfortunately, you turn 66 after that date. You might be able to have your wife file and suspend, however, if she is the lower earner, this may not make sense.

Jim Lynch
McLean, IL
11/20/2015 03:57 AM

  Can a farmer turn 66 on Nov. 9th, 2016, file and suspend until age 70 and begin drawing on his wife who is 66 on Feb. 3rd,2016?

Betty Dicke
Goodhue, MN
12/14/2015 09:53 AM

  I was 66 in September of 2015. My husband won't be 66 until June of 2016. He will start drawing his Social Security in June, 2016 at full retirement age. I was going to draw half of his benefit, and let mine keep growing until age 70. (I have a larger benefit than my husbands. We farmed full time until our dairy barn burned in 1996 and we lost the herd. I began working in town full time, and my husband currently works in town part time besides farming and doing custom crop harvesting. I have a ChemEng degree, and make more off farm wages than he does.) Will I still be able to file and suspend on my account, and draw half of my husband's account while I let my account grow until age 70?


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