Financial Engines updates Social Security plannerNews added by Benefits Pro on January 15, 2016

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Joined: September 07, 2011

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By Marlene Y. Satter

Those planning retirement and needing to adapt to new provisions concerning Social Security benefits will be happy to hear that Financial Engines has updated its Social Security planner.

The planner, which enables users to consider different strategies to get the most out of their Social Security benefits, was first introduced in June 2014.

It has now been updated to support the changes to Social Security regulations enacted by the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015, and allows couples to take those changes into account when deciding on a Social Security claiming strategy.

The Bipartisan Budget Act introduced changes to Social Security regulations that limit households’ ability to use some lesser-known claiming strategies. The planner now provides users with guidance on these changes as they seek to maximize their expected lifetime benefits and household income in retirement.

The most significant Social Security regulations changes apply to individuals who will not have reached the earliest eligible claiming age of 62 by the end of 2015.

These individuals will no longer be able to file restricted applications to receive only their spousal benefits.

In addition, beginning six months after the passage of the Act, when an individual suspends benefits, the associated benefits of their spouse, ex-spouse, and dependents will also be stopped.

“Despite these changes impacting Americans’ Social Security claiming decisions, the general rule that it pays to delay still applies for most Americans,” Wei-Yin Hu, vice president of financial research at Financial Engines, said in a statement. “For every year participants defer claiming Social Security, they still receive a 6–8 percent increase in lifetime benefits.”

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