Incorporates Recent Changes to Provide Americans with Up-to-Date
SUNNYVALE, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Jan. 13, 2016--
Financial Engines (NASDAQ:FNGN), America’s largest independent
registered investment advisor1, today announced that its Social
Security Planner now supports changes to Social Security regulations
enacted by the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015.
The Financial Engines Social Security Planner, which enables users to
consider different strategies to get the most out of their Social
Security benefits, was first introduced to the public at no charge in
June 2014. Since its launch, the Social Security Planner has identified
more than $10 billion in additional Social Security benefits for users,
with the median amount of additional benefits found for a typical
married couple well over $100,000.2
The Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015 introduced changes to Social Security
regulations that limit households’ ability to use some lesser-known
Social Security claiming strategies. These changes have been
incorporated into the Social Security Planner to provide users with
up-to-date guidance regarding benefit claiming strategies, to maximize
their expected lifetime benefits and household income in retirement.
Despite Changes, It Generally Still Pays to Delay Claiming
The most significant Social Security regulations changes apply to
individuals who will not have reached the earliest eligible claiming age
of 62 by the end of 2015. These individuals will no longer be able to
file restricted applications to receive only their spousal benefits.3
Second, starting six months after the passage of the Act, when an
individual suspends benefits4, the associated benefits of
their spouse, ex-spouse and dependents will also be stopped.5
“Despite these changes impacting Americans’ Social Security claiming
decisions, the general rule that it pays to delay still applies for most
Americans,” explained Wei-Yin Hu, vice president of financial research
at Financial Engines. “For every year participants defer claiming Social
Security, they still receive a 6-8 percent increase in lifetime
Married couples, however, will have fewer claiming strategy options once
the changes go into effect.
“Certain qualifying households6 still have an opportunity to
capitalize on these valuable and often overlooked strategies,” added Hu.
“Couples using these sunsetted approaches could gain an additional
$100,000 or more in lifetime Social Security benefits, so taking
advantage of them could be incredibly worthwhile, if you qualify. Our
Social Security Planner can help both couples and individuals make the
most of their earned benefits.”
Despite the rule changes, knowing when to begin claiming Social Security
benefits remains complicated. With Social Security continuing to be a
significant source of income for most Americans in retirement, Financial
Engines is committed to providing individuals with the best, up-to-date
resources to make informed decisions and ultimately maximize their
For a more detailed explanation of the impact that these Social Security
changes will have on Americans, please visit the Financial
Engines blog, which includes an overview and detailed scenarios.
About Financial Engines
Financial Engines is America’s largest independent registered investment
advisor. We help people make the most of their retirement assets by
providing professional investment management and advice. Headquartered
in Sunnyvale, CA, Financial Engines was co-founded in 1996 by Nobel
Prize-winning economist William F. Sharpe. Today, we offer retirement
help to more than nine million employees across over 650 companies
nationwide (including 142 of the Fortune 500). Our investment
methodology, combined with powerful online services, dedicated advisor
center and personal attention allow us to help more Americans get on the
path to a secure retirement.
For more information, please visit www.financialengines.com.
All advisory services provided by Financial Engines Advisors L.L.C., a
federally registered investment advisor and wholly-owned subsidiary of
Financial Engines, Inc. Financial Engines does not guarantee future
This press release contains forward-looking statements, including
statements regarding the use of professional investment and financial
planning help, which involve risks and uncertainties that could cause
actual results to differ materially. These risks and uncertainties are
outlined in our SEC filings. You are cautioned not to unduly rely on
these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date of
this press release. Unless required by law, Financial Engines undertakes
no obligation to publicly revise any forward-looking statement to
reflect circumstances or events after the date of this press release or
to report the occurrence of unanticipated events.
1 For independence methodology and ranking, see
InvestmentNews RIA Data Center. (http://data.investmentnews.com/ria/).
2 Financial Engines uses information about the individual and
his or her stated goals and applies our knowledge of the Social Security
system, among other factors, in providing its claiming guidance, as
further described in our white paper http://corp.financialengines.com/employers/FE_Social_Security_Methodology_0214.pdf.
Amount identified is based on unique users of our social security
claiming guidance since March 12, 2014. Estimates are based on the rules
that were in effect at the time of the sessions, and are not guarantees
of future benefit payments. The new rules may reduce the figure for some
3 This restriction is sometimes referred to as “deemed
filing.” An individual may be entitled to two benefits: an earned
benefit and a spousal benefit. Going forward, an application for
benefits will be “deemed” to be an application for both benefits, and
the individual would receive the higher of the two benefits.
4 An individual who starts claiming benefits can suspend them
at or after their full retirement age in order to benefit from delayed
retirement credits and resume benefits at a later point in time.
5 The affected individuals may still receive benefits based
on their own earnings records.
6 To full take advantage of the old rules, there needs to be
someone old enough to file and suspend by May 2016, while the other
person needs to have reached age 62 in 2015. http://blog.financialengines.com/2016/01/13/what-married-couples-need-to-know-about-the-latest-changes-to-social-security
View source version on businesswire.com: http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20160113005224/en/
Source: Financial Engines
Mike Jurs, 408-498-6590
Gardell Kreuter, 646-428-0618