A restricted application is an application in which you apply for spousal only without applying for your own retirement benefit. By definition that cannot be done if you have already applied for your own retirement benefit.
So, for the instance that I referenced earlier,
Spouse A is FRA in December 2015
Spouse B is FRA in July of 2016
Having Spouse A file and suspend, and then file a restricted spousal application 7 months later after Spouse B files to collect doesn't work, I guess
. The only reason to do that would be the idea of maintaining the option of the retroactive claiming. So if you file and suspend before the deadline, its all undone if you subsequently file for spousal benefits only?
The workable option is for B to file in July 2016 and A to simply wait til then and file a restricted application for spousal benefits. (In this case, B's PIA is about 50% greater than A, so A's spousal benefit is about 75% of A's PIA.) This is what we may do. The other alternative is to simply file and collect for each at FRA, based on a judgement that benefits may be reduced in the future for high earners.
The idea of filing and suspending pretty much never makes sense for a person who wants to receive spousal benefits between FRA and 70.
In some cases, it completely eliminates the ability to receive spousal benefits. That is, one requirement for spousal benefits is that you not
be entitled to a retirement benefit based on a PIA that is greater than or equal to 50% of your spouse's PIA. If you haven't filed for your retirement benefit, you're not entitled to it, so this rule isn't a problem. If you have filed (even if you have suspended) you are
entitled to it, so this rule can get in the way.
Even if your PIA is less than 50% of your spouse's PIA, filing and suspending will still reduce the amount you could receive as a spouse. (Specifically, you will receive only your excess spousal benefit rather than receiving the full spousal benefit.)
In the scenario you described, you are correct that if A wants to receive spousal benefits until 70, he/she should simply wait until Spouse B files for benefits.
For what it's worth, in that scenario, I would also consider strategies in which it is Spouse B who is filing the restricted application rather than Spouse A, so as to allow Spouse B's retirement benefit (i.e, the larger retirement benefit) grow until age 70.