Social Security: Two Benefit Strategies Eliminated

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With the passage of the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015, two strategies to potentially maximize Social Security benefit payments were eliminated.  Read this article to see if you still qualify.

An Overview

Prior to the budget’s passage, married couples had two strategies to help maximize their Social Security benefits: “file-and-suspend” and “restricted applications.” ¹

Under file-and-suspend, the higher-earning spouse filed for benefits and then suspended them, allowing the lower-earning spouse to claim a spousal benefit. This also let the higher-earning spouse accrue delayed retirement credits. Upon attaining age 70, the couple then could switch to their own individual benefit to receive the highest possible amount.

Restricted Application

A restricted application allowed an individual, upon attaining full retirement age, to file only for a spousal benefit, based on the individual’s spouse’s work record, delaying his or her benefits until age 70. Upon reaching age 70, the individual would then convert to his or her own benefit.

Married couples also could combine the above strategies with one spouse filing and suspending a worker benefit, while the other spouse filed a restricted application to receive the spousal benefit only.

Divorced recipients

These strategies could be used by divorced recipients, too. A divorced spouse was permitted to file a restricted application for a spousal benefit at full retirement age, as long as the former spouse was 62 or older. At age 70, the divorced spouse then switched over to his or her own worker benefit, assuming it was a higher amount.

The Policy Behind the Elimination

The elimination of file-and-suspend claims becomes effective on May 1, 2016. It also prohibits restricted applications for anyone who has not reached age 62 by the end of 2015. Since file-and-suspend is only available to those who have reached full retirement age, it remains available to individuals who are age 66, or will be so by April 30, 2016. (Couples who have already executed such claims are unaffected by the new law.) ²

The reason that Congress acted, and the President signed into law this change, was to save money and close perceived loopholes in the Social Security program.

Overall savings will be small compared to the larger financial challenges that Social Security faces. These changes will save about 0.02 percent of the taxable wages and self-employment income subject to Social Security taxes over the next 75 years, according to the Social Security Administration—a fraction of the program’s long-term deficit of 2.65 percent of taxable payroll.3 ³

According to one study, these changes will impact just 0.1 percent of all Social Security participants. ⁴

Strategy & Choices

There was one other change not yet widely discussed that may have implications for you.

For someone who exercised a file-and-suspend strategy, the rules provided the ability to receive a retroactive lump sum payment if an individual changed his or her mind and lifted the suspension. (They did lose any bump up in payment amount that came with delaying benefit payments, however.) This flexibility is also being eliminated under the budget act.

This ability to lift the suspension was a particularly important planning strategy because it allowed an individual who may have come down with a life-threatening illness or underwent a change in financial status to retroactively go back to their original filing date and receive a lump sum for the benefit amount not paid during the suspension period.

Keep in mind that Social Security has undergone a number of substantive changes since its inception. While the elimination of these strategies may be disappointing, these changes do not undercut the central promise of this critical social contract. In fact, they were implemented to strengthen it.

  1. Social Security Administration, 2016.
  2. Social Security Administration, 2016.
  3. The New York Times, October 30, 2015.

The New York Times, October 30, 2015.

For more information on this subject contact Steve Lloyd, Office Manager, UCCU Financial Group, at 801-223-7502.

Securities and advisory services offered through Cetera Advisor Networks LLC, member FINRA/SIPC.
Cetera is under separate ownership from any other named entity.
Not NCUA/NCUSIF Insured – No Credit Union Guarantee – Not A Deposit – May Lose Value
Not Insured By Any Federal Government Agency.
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When to Begin Social Security Benefits

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Determining when to begin taking Social Security benefits depends on a number of factors, including whether or not you’re still working, your other sources of retirement income, how soon you need the income to help meet current living expenses, and your life expectancy. While you can begin taking benefits at age 62, many people choose to wait until they reach “full retirement” age—which is 66 for those born between 1943 and 1959, and 67 for those born in 1960 or later. Doing so entitles you to receive full benefits, whereas dipping into Social Security a few years earlier reduces your benefit amounts substantially.

The longer you wait, up to age 70, the greater your benefits will be. At age 70, you are eligible for the maximum annual benefit, which is 32% more than your full retirement benefit, and 76% greater than the benefit you were entitled to receive at age 62.

If you would like assistance in determining when to begin taking Social Security benefits, contact the office at 801-223-7502 to schedule a consultation.

All the best,

UCCU Financial Group

This communication is designed to provide accurate and authoritative information on the subjects covered. It is not, however, intended to provide specific legal, tax, or other professional advice. For specific professional assistance, the services of an appropriate professional should be sought.
Securities and advisory services offered through Cetera Advisor Networks LLC, member FINRA/SIPC.
Cetera is under separate ownership from any other named entity.
Not NCUA/NCUSIF Insured – No Credit Union Guarantee – Not A Deposit – May Lose Value
Not Insured By Any Federal Government Agency.

 

 

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UCCU Financial Group

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Here at UCCU, we value our members more than anything.  We understand and realize how important your financial future is, and we want to assist you along the way.  UCCU Financial Group helps you find the best financial options, and provides a better understanding of the financial opportunities available to you.  So what are your options?

Investments & Life Planning

Our mission is to put you in control of your finances and your future.  That’s why we have partnered up with Cetera to give you the best options.  Options include: Mutual Funds, Life Insurance, REIT (Real Estate Investment Trust) Stocks, Bonds, and Social Security Maximization.

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Senior Insurance 

Senior Insurance can be difficult, confusing, and downright complicated, but with UCCU, we make it easy.  Senior Benefits Insurance Services will cover you for the short and long-term goals you have in mind, and guide you through Medicare, Long-Term Care, Recovery Care insurance, and Senior Dental offerings.

Senior Benefits

Health Insurance

With so many options to choose from for Health Insurance, which is the best road to take?   Miller & Wade, one of Utah’s largest insurance agencies, can offer a full suite of insurance products to both individuals and businesses.  Miller & Wade offers: Individual Health Insurance, Individual Dental Insurance, Individual Supplemental Insurance Plans, Individual Short-Term health Insurance Plans, Individual Vision, Group Dental Insurance, Group Life Insurance, Group Disability, Group Vision, and Group Supplemental Insurance Plans.

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Auto, Home, AD&D Insurance 

The harsh reality is, unexpected accidents may occur at any given time.  Are you prepared for the future?  Luckily, Auto and home insurance protects against damage infliction on your home or car.  AD&D also safeguards your family’s financial security against accidental death or dismemberment.  TruSTAGE can help you find the best options for Auto Insurance, Home Insurance, and Ad&D Insurance.

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We care about our members, and their future.  Let us assist you in your financial future, and help you find the best options for you, and your family. Whether you are trying to be a shareholder for a corporation, or simply trying to find the best health insurance option, we are here to help!  So please visit our UCCU Financial Group link today for more information!

If you have any question, click HERE for more information, or call us at 801-223-8188, or email us at questions@uccu.com

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How Will Working Affect Social Security Benefits?

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In a recent survey, 70% of current workers stated they plan to work for pay after retiring. And that possibility raises an interesting question: How will working affect Social Security benefits?  To answer that question requires an understanding of three … Continue reading

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Take the First Step – Start Planning Your Financial Future

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How Will Working Affect Social Security Benefits?

Mature Businessman using tablet computerIn a recent survey, 70% of current workers stated they plan to work for pay after retiring. And that possibility raises an interesting question: How will working affect Social Security benefits?  To answer that question requires an understanding of three key concepts:  full-retirement age, the earnings test, and taxable benefits.

Full Retirement Age

Most workers don’t face an “official” retirement date, according to the Social Security Administration. The Social Security program allows workers to start receiving benefits as soon as they reach age 62—or to put off receiving benefits until age 70½ “Full retirement age” is the age at which individuals become eligible to receive 100% of their Social Security benefits. For example, individuals born in 1955 can receive 100% of their benefits at age 66 years and 2 months.

Earnings Test

Starting Social Security benefits before reaching full retirement age brings into play the earnings test.  If a working individual starts receiving Social Security payments before full retirement age, the Social Security Administration will deduct $1.00 in benefits for each $2.00 that person earns above an annual limit. In 2012, the income limit was $14,640.

Learn more at:
www.ucinvestmentservices.com
Or, contact Steve Lloyd at (801) 223-7502 to set an appointment with one of our financial professionals.
Curtis Willardson, CFP, CLU, Daniel O Palmer, Stephen Martin CFP, CLU, ChFC and Travis Morgan are registered representatives offering securities and advisory services offered through Cetera Advisor Networks LLC, member FINRA/SIPC. David Palmer is a registered representative offering securities through Cetera Advisor Networks LLC, member FINRA/SIPC.  Cetera is under separate ownership from any other named entity. Registered address: 188 W River Park Drive, Provo, UT 84604.
Not NCUA/NCUSIF Insured – No Credit Union Guarantee – Not A Deposit – May Lose Value
Not Insured By Any Federal Government Agency.
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Distributions From Retirement Plans

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If you’re like many Americans, you’ve been setting aside money for your retirement. Now that you’re near­ing retirement age, it may soon be time to start drawing money from your qualified retirement plans. Withdrawing money from a retirement plan is called “taking a distribution,” and there are a variety of ways to do it. We’re going to review several approaches.

UCCU Financial Group provides a wide range of services, with the primary commitment of helping our clients pursue their unique financial objectives. Our firm wants to help you develop a financial strategy tailored to your goals, values, and risk tolerance.

Some retirees may have several sources of income. Among them are retirement plans, such as traditional IRAs and Roth IRAs, as well as 401(k) and 403(b) plans. Of course, you may receive Social Security ben­efits and some people also have other investments and savings that they intend to use during retirement. If you’re nearing the age when you may consider drawing money from your qualified retirement plans, you face a number of important distributions decisions.

Remember, withdrawals from traditional IRAs, 401(k)s, and other employer-sponsored retirement plans are taxed as ordinary income and, if taken before age 59½, may be subject to a 10% federal income tax penalty. Generally, once you reach age 70½, you must begin taking required minimum distributions.

To qualify for the tax-free and penalty-free withdrawal of earnings, Roth IRA distributions must meet a five-year holding requirement and occur after age 59½. Tax-free and penalty-free withdrawal also can be taken under certain other circumstances, such as after the owner’s death. The original Roth IRA owner is not required to take minimum annual withdrawals.

Keep in mind that the information in this material is not intended as tax or legal advice. It may not be used for the purpose of avoiding any federal tax penalties. Please consult a professional for specific information regarding your individual situation.

Learn more at:  www.ucinvestmentservices.com
Or, contact Steve Lloyd at (801) 223-7502 or by email: Steve Lloyd lloyds@peakfns.com to set an appointment with one of our financial professionals.
Curtis Willardson, CFP, CLU, Daniel O Palmer, Stephen Martin CFP, CLU, ChFC and Travis Morgan are registered representatives offering securities and and advisory services offered through Cetera Advisor Networks LLC, member FINRA/SIPC. David Palmer is a registered representative offering securities through Cetera Advisor Networks LLC, member FINRA/SIPC.  Cetera is under separate ownership from any other named entity. Registered address: 188 W River Park Drive, Provo, UT 84604.
Not NCUA/NCUSIF Insured – No Credit Union Guarantee – Not A Deposit – May Lose Value
Not Insured By Any Federal Government Agency.
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Retirement Matters

Retirement living conjures up various images. Some see retirement living as traveling. Others envision more family time. Still others simply look forward to more free time. No matter what your view, there are a number of questions and concerns that should be addressed to help you better prepare for retirement living. Because in order to pursue your goals and dreams for retirement, it is necessary to determine a strategy for your future. Otherwise, your choices may be limited and your options few.

 The UCCU Financial Group provides a wide range of services with the primary commitment of helping our clients pursue their unique financial objectives. We want to help you develop an overall strategy tailored to your goals, risk tolerance, and time horizon.

 Our firm is dedicated to helping individuals evaluate their financial situations. We want to provide people with tools that can help them make informed decisions. We offer informational material on a wide range of topics because we understand that individuals have diverse financial needs. If you have any questions or concerns during the course of this presentation, we invite you to take advantage of our complimentary consultation. During the consultation, we can discuss your questions and begin the process of helping you develop a financial approach that will address your individual needs.

 Keep in mind that the information in this material is not intended as tax or legal advice. It may not be used for the purpose of avoiding any federal tax penalties. Please consult a professional for specific information regarding your individual situation.

Learn more at: www.ucinvestmentservices.com
Or, contact Steve Lloyd at (801) 223-7502 to set an appointment with one of our financial professionals.
Curtis Willardson, CFP, CLU, Daniel O Palmer, Stephen Martin CFP, CLU, ChFC and Travis Morgan are registered representatives offering securities and and advisory services offered through Cetera Advisor Networks LLC, member FINRA/SIPC. David Palmer is a registered representative offering securities through Cetera Advisor Networks LLC, member FINRA/SIPC.  Cetera is under separate ownership from any other named entity. Registered address: 188 W River Park Drive, Provo, UT 84604.
Not NCUA/NCUSIF Insured – No Credit Union Guarantee – Not A Deposit – May Lose Value
Not Insured By Any Federal Government Agency.
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President's Message November 2014

As the holidays approach and our lives become busy it’s important to enjoy this special time of year. UCCU wishes you the best and we hope you have a safe and delightful holiday season.

UCCU Prepares to Offer Apple Pay    

Many members have been interested in knowing if the credit union is onboard to offer Apple Pay – and the answer is yes. UCCU is in queue to provide Apple Pay as soon as Apple expands its service. So far we do not have timeline from Apple, but we will provide more information as we receive it.

 Some things to know about Apple Pay – so far the list of businesses that can and are willing to receive Apple Pay is very limited. These businesses must have near field communication (NFC) technology to accept this form of payment. The reality is that many businesses currently do not have this technology, and some of the business that do have refused to offer Apple Pay at this time – such as Wal-mart, Rite Aid, CVS, and others.

 UCCU believes that payments using a smartphone versus a traditional plastic debit or credit card is likely the future. The credit union will strive to adopt technology, including Apple Pay, as long as your information is protected. Our goal is to provide you with the most convenient way of making purchases and helping you stay protected along the way.

 For more information on how Apple Pay works, click here.

Smart Decision Magazine

The credit union recently published the Smart Decision Magazine Fall edition. The magazine is filled with information to help you and your family be inspired to make smart decisions – both financial and life decisions. One of the great articles in this magazine is about how we can all help to stand up against bullying. This article written by Greg Hudnall, Executive Director of HOPE4UTAH. The article is informative and provides his expert advice to stop bullying in our schools and community.  Click here to view a digital version of the magazine.

Do you know your Medicare options?

The answer is – probably not. That’s why the UCCU Financial Group is offering free Medicare information events held at the UCCU Center on November 12th or December 2nd. The UCCU Financial Group lead by Senior Benefits has teamed up with United Health Care, Select Health, Coventry Health Care, and Regence Health Care to help inform our community about their options during the open enrollment period from now until December 7. Arrive early as seating is limited and get all of your Medicare questions answered by this team of professionals.

For more information, click here.

Thank you for your membership at Utah Community Credit Union. We work hard to be your trusted financial partner for products and services and hope you take advantage of everything we offer.

Jeff Sermon
CEO / President
Utah Community Credit Union

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