A special option for those born before 1954
Almost all of those approaching Social Security age understand that a worker gets benefits on their own work record, and a lower earning spouse can often get additional spousal benefits added on top of their own. Of course there are conditions for whether a spousal benefit will be given, but a spouse’s total benefit can be up to 50% of the higher earning spouse’s benefit at full retirement age. However a rather obscure rule known as the “restricted application” can sometimes be used by those who qualify to apply only for spousal benefits while allowing their own SS benefit to grow by 8% per year.
Although the option has been eliminated for anyone born after January 1, 1954, the restricted application allows a worker who has reached their full retirement age to claim spousal benefits only, while their own benefit earns delayed retirement credits up to age 70, at which point their own benefit would be 32% more than it would be at age 66. Their are specific qualifiers, of course, as described in this article by Rick Shrum appearing in the (Washington, PA) Observer-Reporter. Click here to read more.