(Nasdaq) When Congress passed the Senior Citizens Freedom to Work Act in 2000, it introduced a new concept called "voluntary suspension" of benefits, allowing those who had already started Social Security benefits to stop their payments and earn delayed retirement credits. In the process, however, the new voluntary suspension rules unleashed several additional Social Security claiming strategies, including various "claim now, claim more later" tactics involving File-and-Suspend and Restricted Applications for spousal benefits.
Those may be going away. Under this week's two-year budget agreement between Congressional leaders and the White House, Congress will close these loopholes in the Social Security rules. While it remains to be seen whether the agreement will become law in its current form, the new rules mean that anyone receiving spousal benefits under file-and-suspend would have them terminated next spring.