Can My Wife File At Age 62 And Receive Half Of My Benefit Amount?

Category: 
Jan 23 2017 - 5:15pm

Hi Larry - question about spousal benefits.
I am 69, still working, waiting until 70 to begin SS benefits (begins this coming Dec), did a "file and suspend" prior to the ending date last year.
My wife will be 62 this coming November. Can she file at 62 for spousal benefits to start receiving half my benefit amount? Thanks!

Hi,

No. If your wife files for spousal benefits at age 62, she'll receive a reduced rate of about 30.5% less than half of your full retirement age rate. For example, if your full retirement age rate was $2000, her spousal benefit rate at age 62 would be about $695 (i.e. $1000 x .695). Also, the benefits she could receive prior to full retirement age (FRA) may be limited by the Social Security earnings test (https://www.ssa.gov/planners/retire/whileworking2.html) if she works. On a positive note, though, she could potentially receive spousal benefits even while your benefits are suspended, as long as you voluntarily suspended your benefits prior to April 30, 2016 (https://www.ssa.gov/planners/retire/suspendfaq.html).

However, if your wife is insured for benefits on her own record and files for spousal benefits, she'll be deemed to also be filing for benefits on her own record. And, she'll essentially only receive roughly the higher of the 2 benefits, which would be reduced if she starts drawing them prior to FRA.

You may want to consider running the maximization software available on this website in order to explore all of your wife's filing options.

Best, Jerry