Can My Wife Claim Benefits On My Record When I Start Drawing?

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Jan 6 2017 - 5:15am

Hi Larry-this is a follow up question to my recent query (Jan 5th). I'm 66 on Jan 23 2017. My wife filed on her record early (at age 62) in 2008. Assuming I can apply for spousal benefits on her record and can delay collecting on my own record-when I eventually file for SS on my record can my wife then claim a spousal benefit on my record?

Hi,

Potentially yes, but she'll continue to receive her own reduced benefit rate.

For example, say Jane's full retirement age benefit rate (PIA) is $1000, but she starts drawing at 62 and receives $750. Her husband John, whose full retirement age benefit rate is $2500, files for spousal benefits only when he reaches age 66 and receives $500, or 50% of his wife's PIA. At age 70, John files for benefits on his own record and receives $3300 (i.e. $2500 x 1.32). Jane can then file for an excess spousal benefit of $250, which is 50% of John's PIA minus her own PIA (i.e. $2500/2 - $1000). The excess spousal benefit of $250 would then be added to her own reduced retirement benefit of $750, giving Jane a combined benefit rate of $1000.

Best, Jerry