Can My Wife File For Spousal Benefits At Age 62 And Let Her Own Benefits Grow Until Age 70?

Dec 20 2016 - 9:30am

I just turned 63 and wife just turned 62. My wife has worked most of 40 years. After a 25 year career, SSA declared me disabled 16 years ago and continues to pay me a disability pension. (At age 66, I know its name will change to a full retirement benefit.) We also know my wife's FRB will be less than mine (with reasonable inflation assumptions). Given the recent SSA rule changes and the fact that I've already been receiving a benefit, I know our options are limited. The big issue appears to be whether she can claim at 62 a spouse benefit without eliminating the growth of her own benefit (which we want to delay claiming until she is 70). I read conflicting opinions. Since I am disabled, can she do this -- claim a spousal benefit at 62 and also allow her benefit to grow the 76% from then until age 70? Many thanks.

Hi,

No, she can't. No one is allowed to file just for reduced spousal benefits at age 62, or at any time prior to full retirement age (FRA), without also being deemed to file for reduced benefits on their own record as well.

People born prior to January 2 1954 still have the option of filing for only spousal benefits at FRA, while letting their own benefit rate grow until age 70. However, people born after January 1 1954 are deemed to have filed for both retirement benefits on their own record and spousal benefits, whenever they file for either type of benefit (https://www.ssa.gov/planners/retire/deemedfaq.html).

Best, Jerry