Can I Suspend My Retirement Benefits And Get Spousal Benefits Instead?

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Apr 12 2017 - 7:45am

I turned 63 in dec 2016, I filed to start recieving my own SS benifits when I turned 62, My husband just turned 69 in February and he started his benifits at 66. My ? is can I go back and suspend my benefits and collect spousal instead,the amount is very close to what I now get, and let my benefits acrue till I am 70 or is it too late. I just became aware that being born in 1953 I could have filed that way originally. Hope its not too late to change my mind. Thank You

Hi,

No, you can't suspend your benefits until you reach full retirement age (FRA), and you cannot draw spousal benefits while your own benefits are in suspense (https://www.ssa.gov/planners/retire/suspendfaq.html).

It sounds like it's probably too late to undo your previous decision to file on your own record early. You can only withdraw a claim for retirement benefits if you file the request within 12 months of when you started drawing benefits (https://www.ssa.gov/planners/retire/withdrawal.html). Otherwise, you're likely stuck with your reduced retirement rate, although you could get your husband's full rate as a widow if he dies first.

It sounds like your only other option would be to voluntarily suspend your retirement benefits at FRA and resume them at a 32% higher rate at age 70. However, as I mentioned above, you could not get any other benefits while your own benefits are suspended.

Best, Jerry