Social Security Payback Option Eliminated

Emily Brandon
U.S. News and World Report

Retirees will no longer be able to get an interest-free loan from the Social Security trust fund, the Social Security Administration announced today. Effective on December 8, retirees will not be able to pay back benefits already received in exchange for higher Social Security payments going forward. Here’s a look at how the new Social Security rules could impact your checks.

Free Loans Eliminated
Little-known provisions of Social Security law previously allowed individuals to begin payments at age 62, pay back all the benefits received at age 70 without interest, and then reclaim at a higher rate due to delayed claiming. However, this claiming strategy, which is employed primarily by affluent households, costs the federal government and Social Security trust fund money. “The processing of these withdrawal applications is also a poor use of the agency’s limited administrative resources in a time of fiscal austerity — resources that could be better used to serve the millions of Americans who need Social Security’s services,” says the SSA in a statement.

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