How Will My Ex-Wife's Payment Be Calculated?

Jan 8 2017 - 7:15am

I read the other questions and couldn't find this one.........My ex-wife will be filing for her social security benefits on my record when she turns 62 in April 2017. I am 67 and have not started my social security benefits yet as I want to wait until I am 70. My question: Will my ex-wife's social security benefit calculation be a reduced percentage of what my current social security benefit would be if I was drawing social security currently (approximately $2,900 per month), or will it be a reduced percentage of my primary insurance amount (PIA), which is $2,501? This is important to me, as I am court ordered to "make up" the difference, so that my ex-wife has an income of $1500 per month (social security benefits plus additional cash from me). Is it correct that since she will begin her social security benefits early at 62, she will receive a reduced benefit of 35%?
Thanks so much if you are able to answer my questions!

Hi,

Assuming that she's not eligible for benefits on her own record, your ex-wife's unreduced divorced spousal benefit would be 50% of your full retirement age benefit rate (PIA). Since she was born in 1955, her full retirement age is 66 & 2 months, and the reduction for starting her divorced spousal benefits at age 62 would be between 30% & 31%. So, if your PIA is $2501, her monthly benefit rate would be around $880.

However, if your wife is insured for any benefits based on her own record, that would change the equation. She would receive her own benefits first, and then potentially an excess divorced spousal benefit from your account, but only if your PIA is more than twice as much as her PIA.

Best, Jerry