Prudential releases update to pioneering Social Security paper

New edition includes strategies for same-sex married couples, Spanish version available

NEWARK, N.J., July 17, 2015 – Prudential Financial, Inc. (NYSE:PRU) today released an update to the 2012 edition of “Innovative Strategies to Help Maximize Social Security Benefits.”

The new edition features a chapter dedicated to Social Security benefit eligibility now available for same-sex married couples due to the landmark June 26th Obergefell v. Hodges decision, which extends the rights of same-sex couples to marry in all fifty states.

“There are two effective yet often overlooked strategies currently available for married couples, which now includes same-sex married couples,” James Mahaney, author of the paper and vice president, Strategic Initiatives, at Prudential, said.

Two Strategies

“The ‘file and suspend’ method allows the higher earning spouse to claim benefits at full retirement age and voluntarily suspend the receipt of those benefits until a later time; this provides the lower earning spouse the opportunity to claim and immediately receive spousal benefits. The second strategy, filing a restricted application, allows an individual at full retirement age to receive his/her full spousal benefit first, while delaying the receipt of his/her own worker benefit, thus allowing it to grow larger through Delayed Retirement Credits.”

Mahaney noted that the goal of the restricted application filing is to “step up” into what is usually a higher paying worker’s benefit at age 70.

Other key points for individuals in married relationships include:

  • Regardless of which spouse dies first, the smaller benefit currently being paid out between the two spouses is eliminated while the larger benefit continues.
  • Timing of when to claim benefits is a key decision; a financial professional can help individuals understand the options available when putting a claiming strategy in place.
“There are two effective yet often overlooked strategies currently available for married couples, which now includes same-sex married couples

“Married couples should consider how they integrate their 401(k) and IRA savings with Social Security worker benefits, spousal benefits, and even potential survivor benefits that may come due,” Mahaney added. “Too often individuals don’t know what they don’t know. We recognize from our experience with prior versions of the paper that retirees can indeed become much more educated about their options and therefore make more informed decisions.”

The latest edition also includes updated key figures that impact how benefits are paid in 2015, explains how Social Security income receives preferential tax treatment during retirement, as well as provides descriptions and examples as to how married couples, divorced persons and widow and widowers can incorporate strategies to help maximize their potential Social Security benefits.

Want more information on “Innovative Strategies to Help Maximize Social Security Benefits?” Click here to download a copy of the paper, also available in Spanish, or check out our Research & Perspectives Web site.




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