Makin' Money

The Social Security do-over restricted

Chris Farrell Dec 9, 2010

Remember the Social Security do-over? If you retire early and take a reduced monthly benefit, you could change your mind, reapply, and get the bigger payments that go to those who wait to collect benefits. You wrote the government a check covering the benefits you’ve been paid, but without interest or adjusting for inflation. You would then get the higher benefit. It was a good deal for those with hefty savings accounts.

Now, Social Security has proposed dramatically narrowing the option.

Under the new rules–which will probably become effective–you can withdraw your application for Social Security benefits only once during your lifetime. What’s more, you can only withdraw during the first 12 month period when you started receiving benefits.

The do-over option is gone once the 12-month deadline has passed.

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