Can I File For Divorced Spousal Benefits When I Reach FRA Or Do I Have To Wait Until My Ex Reaches FRA?

Feb 13 2018 - 9:56am

2 Questions:
1. I'm 6 months older than my ex. Can I apply for spousal benefits when I reach FRA (66), or do I have to wait 6 months until he turns 66?
2. I've never had a non-social security job, but my ex has. As part of our divorce, I'm entitled to a portion of his govt. pension. Will 2/3 of the amount I get from his pension be deducted from spousal benefits(GPO)?
Thanks.

Hi,

Assuming that you've been divorced for at least 2 years, you could potentially file for divorced spousal benefits as long as both you and your ex are at least age 62. Your divorced spousal rate would be reduced for age if you start drawing prior to your full retirement age (FRA), but not because your ex-spouse isn't yet FRA.

Any payments that you receive from your husband's government pension plan would have no effect on either your own Social Security benefits nor your divorced spousal benefits. However, if his benefit rate is affected by the Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP), that could also result in you receiving a lower divorced spousal benefit rate since your divorced spousal rate would be derived from his primary insurance amount (PIA).

If you were born prior to January 2 1954, it sounds like you would have the option of filing just for divorced spousal benefits only at FRA while allowing your own benefit rate to grow until age 70. You should strongly
consider using our maximization software in order to explore your filing options and determine your best strategy.

Best, Jerry