Can I Collect On My Ex-Husband's Record At Age 62 And Collect On My Own Record At Age 64?

May 16 2017 - 6:46am

I was married for 24 years, been divorced since 2004. my ex husband is 63 and i will be 62 in october, 2017. I have worked for a town for 17 years and have a pension so social security is not deducted from my pay and I understand that because of the windfall act, I can not take the full amount of social security as I will be receiving a pension.
question: Can I collect my ex-husbands social security benefits when I turn 62 (but still work until I am 64) and not collect any of mine or drop his at 64 and collect
mine? will the windfall act apply?
How does social security look at those who would be collecting a pension if they want to collect on their ex-husbands benefits early for financial reasons?

Hi,

No. Whenever you file for either divorced spousal benefits or retirement benefits on your own record, you'll be deemed to be filing for both, and you'll only receive essentially the higher of the 2 rates.

The Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP) only applies to benefits payable on your own work record. However, the Government Pension Offset (GPO) provision will likely affect your potential divorced spousal benefits. GPO requires divorced spousal benefits to be offset by 2/3rds of the amount of any government pension that the divorced spouse receives based on their own work that was exempt from Social Security taxes (https://www.ssa.gov/pubs/EN-05-10007.pdf).

Neither WEP nor GPO applies until you start receiving a non-covered pension, so your Social Security benefit rate wouldn't be reduced until you start taking your city pension. But, if you file for Social Security benefits before full retirement age and you continue to work, your benefits would be subject to the Social Security earnings test (https://www.ssa.gov/planners/retire/whileworking2.html).

You may want to consider running the maximization software available on this website to help you determine your best filing strategy.

Best, Jerry