Can I File For Spousal Benefits At Age 66 And Switch To My Own Record At Age 70?

Jan 25 2017 - 6:45am

My husband is 67 and receiving his full retirement benefits. I will be 66 years in March 2017. Can I file to receive spousal benefits after my 66th birthday with no penalty at 70 years when I apply of my own (my base is more than my husband's)?
If I am can collect spousal with no penalites at 70 years, when should I file and how?
Thank you.
DJ

Hi,

Yes, since you were born before January 2 1954, you can file a restricted application for spousal benefits only effective at age 66, while letting your own rate continue to grow until age 70. Drawing the spousal benefits will not adversely affect your own benefit rate at age 70. This is likely to be your best strategy, but you may want make sure by running the maximization software available on this website.

You can apply for your spousal benefits in advance, but you'll want to elect March 2017 as your month of entitlement, assuming that you weren't born on March 1st. If you were born on March 1st, you'd want to elect February as your month of entitlement. Just be sure that your application contains a remark such as 'I wish to restrict the scope of this application to spousal benefits only.', or 'I wish to restrict retirement benefits on my own record from the scope of this application.' If you file online at ssa.gov, you will need to enter this remark yourself. If you file in person at a Social Security office or by phone, you should review your copy of the application to make sure that it contains a similar remark.

Best, Jerry