Will My Wife Be Able To Get Spousal Benefits When I Start Drawing My Benefits?

Category: 
Jan 14 2017 - 11:30am

If my wife claimed her social security at 62, can she get an additional benefit when I retire (I will get almost 4 times more than she gets now). My wife is now 71. What percentage of my benefit could she get (if any) if I start my benefits later this year at 62.

Hi,

Yes, your wife could potentially get an excess spousal benefit on your record when you start drawing your benefits. I'll give you an example to illustrate how her benefit rate would be calculated.

John is 62 and has a full retirement age benefit rate (PIA) of $2000. His wife Jane is 9 years older and started taking her benefits at age 62. Jane's reduced retirement benefit amount is $450, based on her full retirement age rate (PIA) of $600. John files for benefits at age 62 and receives a reduced benefit rate of $1500. Jane files for an excess spousal benefit on John's record which is calculated as follows:
50% of John's PIA, or $1000, minus Jane's PIA of $600 = $400.

Since Jane is over full retirement age (FRA) when she becomes eligible for spousal benefits, her excess spousal benefit is unreduced. The unreduced excess spousal amount of $400 is then added to her own reduced retirement benefit of $450 to give her a combined monthly benefit rate of $850.

Best, Jerry

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