Can I Receive Spousal Benefits If My Husband Files And Suspends?

Dec 28 2016 - 11:15am

My husband and I are still working. He is 69 and I just turned 66. We have not yet filed for benefits, hoping to each wait until 70 to file, thanks to advice from your book. We thought he should file and suspend now and I file to collect spousal benefits now as well. Is this correct thinking? What happens when he turns 70 and files again to collect his benefits? And what happens when I file for my own benefits at 70? When one of us dies, what benefit would the other be collecting? Thank you.

Hi,

No, thanks to the new law passed by Congress last year (https://www.ssa.gov/planners/retire/suspendfaq.html), you couldn't receive spousal benefits if your husband files and suspends his benefits.

You and your husband have numerous strategies to choose from. It may be best for you to file for spousal benefits when your husband files at age 70, and then file on your own record at age 70. Or, he could start drawing now so that you could start spousal benefits sooner. Or, it may be best for you to file on your own record now so that your husband can draw spousal benefits on your record until he reaches age 70. The best strategy depends mainly on your relative benefits rate, as well as your personal preferences. What you should probably do is run the maximization software available on this website in order to determine the best filing strategy for you and your husband.

The surviving member of a couple receives the higher of their 2 benefits, inclusive of any delayed retirement credits earned by the deceased. That's another factor to be considered in choosing your filing strategy.

Best, Jerry