Bipartisan Budget prompts major changes to claiming software

Katie Godbout, Director of Sales & Marketing
November 18, 2015
    

Social Security Timing® updated its software as the budget deal was being finalized, so that you were able to give up-to-date information to clients as soon as the law went into effect Nov. 2.

We continue to modify the software to make it the best in the industry. Many of these recent updates are the direct result of subscriber suggestions. Review those initial updates here, and be sure to read below, for additional updates made since then.

Earnings Test

If you have a client who has a pension and didn’t pay into Social Security, we have enhanced the process for entering client information in the portion of the software regarding the earnings test, a test that affects a client election of Social Security benefits prior to full retirement age. Previously, the software did not account for someone subject to an earnings test while paying into the noncovered pension.  Now, the updated software allows you to enter non-Social-Security-covered earnings, so that the earnings test is taken into consideration.

When you’re entering a client’s earnings record, you’ll now have the option of entering more than one set of earnings. Just check the box that says “Also enter non-covered earnings,” and enter the gross yearly earnings or the expected gross yearly earnings that are not subject to Social Security taxes in the “non-covered” column.  The calculator will take that information into account when making a suggested strategy.

In the example for the year 2015 on the screenshot here, the zero in the first green box represents that the client has paid nothing into Social Security taxes, as the Social Security statement for that year also shows. The $50,150 represents the amount that the client said she will earn this year.

SST Software Update Earnings Test

Earnings Cap Amount

Sometimes advisors or their staff mistype a client’s earnings history amount into the software, producing incorrect calculations. For example, if you have accidently entered an extra zero for a client’s 1991 income making the figure $534,000 instead of $53,400, any calculations and strategies produced by the software would be incorrect. The software is now updated so that it will not allow you to enter any amount above the maximum taxable earnings as defined by the Social Security Administration. In this example, the maximum that year was $53,400. This should help minimize errors.

New feature: prioritize clients affected by new law

The newest feature is designed to help you prioritize those clients affected by the new law. It identifies those clients and tags them as either “Priority 1” or “Priority 2.”

You will now see a red box around clients who have been affected. We added a search option so you can view clients by priority. Simply click the dropdown menu and select the group you’d like to work on. The red box will indicate which clients you have not edited. In order to edit the client, click the “Edit” button to access the client wizard. We recommend that you review the client’s information that you initially entered into the client wizard to verify the information is still current. Once edited, the calculator will recalculate. Your case will be updated with the new laws in place and the red box will be removed.

Clients who would be “Priority 1” are those affected by the Voluntary Suspension deadline, which is April 30, 2016.  Using the “Priority 1” filter will show all clients with a date of birth of May 1, 1950, or earlier. This group includes clients who are currently full retirement age or will attain full retirement age by May 1, 2016, and will need to voluntary suspend prior to April 30, 2016. This is the last group that will be able to file and voluntary suspend to build delayed retirement credits while allowing their spouse to claim a spousal benefit.

Clients who would be “Priority 2” are those affected by the Restricted Application deadline, which is Jan. 1, 2024. This filter will show all clients with a date of birth of May 2, 1950, or through Jan. 1, 1954. This group includes clients who will need to implement a Restricted Application in order to elect a spousal benefit off of a spouse prior to Jan. 1, 2020. This is the last group that will be able to restrict the application for a spousal benefit while allowing their own record to build delayed retirement credits.

SST Software Updates Client Prioritization

If you need any assistance with the software updates, please contact us.

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Posted by Katie Godbout, Director of Sales & Marketing
Katie thrives on making an impact and achieving big goals. She believes that communication strategy has a major impact on business success. As a strategic communicator with a diverse background in non-profit, B2B, healthcare, and SaaS, Katie combines her expertise in strategy development, marketing and sales to spread the word about how Covisum can help advisors and institutions inform their clients of the best financial decisions.