• Restricted application. This is also being phased out. Currently, individuals eligible for both a spousal benefit based their spouse's work record and a retirement benefit based on his or her own work record could choose to elect only a spousal benefit at full retirement age, according to Social Security Timing. That would let them collect a higher benefit later on.
Under the new law, however, only those born Jan. 1, 1954, or earlier can use this option. Anyone younger will just automatically get the larger of the two benefits, according to Social Security Timing.