En español | The effective date of changes to Social Security depends on how Congress writes the law. The Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015 is a recent example. The new law signed by the President on November 2, 2015, changes filing options for couples. Individuals attaining age 62 after 2015 will no longer be able to file a restricted application for spouse’s benefits at full retirement age. In addition, spouses and children will not be able to collect benefits on a worker who submits a request for suspension of benefits after April 29, 2016.
Generally, AARP feels that it is likely that most changes to the Social Security program would be modest and implemented over time. If you are currently approaching retirement age, the chance that your benefits will change dramatically is much smaller than if you are still 15-20 years from claiming age. One exception could be a change to the Cost of Living Adjustment, which could affect everyone receiving a benefit immediately by reducing annual increases to benefits.