How the 2016 Budget Changes Social Security Planning

  • Originally published November 3, 2015 , last updated January 15, 2018
How the 2016 Budget Changes Social Security Planning

The 2016 budget has passed Congress, and the President has signed it into law. The implications of this deal are significant for your clients since it contains some sweeping revisions to Social Security. Specifically, it dramatically limits two of the major planning techniques that have helped beneficiaries maximize Social Security benefits. If you’re doing Social Security planning with your clients, you need to understand these changes and make sure you’re using software that can help you apply the right set of rules.

What Changed?

The changes focus on the claiming rules for retirees, specifically on the Restricted Application and the Voluntary Suspension strategies. The video on this page, from our partners at Social Security Timing®, explains the changes in detail. In short, the Restricted Application for spousal benefits will be phased out over the next four years, and the Voluntary Suspension option will be eliminated in approximately six months (180 days from enactment of the law).

We believe the impact of this law will make addressing Social Security with your clients more important than ever before. First, it’s going to create confusion. Now, instead of one set of rules, your clients are affected by three: the rules for the next 180 days, the rules for people born Jan. 1, 1954, or earlier, and the rules for those born after Jan. 1, 1954. Second, it’s going to create urgency. These changes will raise awareness of Social Security planning and these strategies, and people will want to take advantage of them if they can in the short term. If you can’t help them or answer their questions, the may find another advisor who will.

What Are We Doing?

Last year, Senior Market Sales® and Social Security Timing partnered to create Total Social Security and provide you with software, marketing materials, support and training to give you 100% of what you need to integrate Social Security planning in your practice. We are now working together to update all of these resources to reflect the changes to Social Security.

  • Software — Social Security Timing has already implemented all of the necessary changes to the software so that calculations you run today will be consistent with the new law.
  • Educational seminar — We will be revising our educational seminar and refiling it with FINRA so you can continue to get this message out to the public.
  • Other documents and materials — We will be updating various other training documents and materials found behind the log-in on

If you have questions, call us at 1-877-645-4939.