Can I File For Spousal Benefits While My Own Benefits Are Suspended?

Jun 20 2018 - 11:38am

I filed and suspended 1/1/16 at age 66. My wife may file for ss at age 66 on 12/2/18. Can I file for spousal benefits when she files for ss?


You can file, but you'll only be eligible for spousal benefits if 50% of your wife's full retirement age rate (PIA) is higher than your PIA. Since you've already filed for your own retirement benefits, even if they are suspended, that continues to be your primary benefit for life. If you subsequently file for spousal benefits the most you could receive as a spouse is the difference between your own benefit rate and the spousal rate, assuming that the spousal rate is higher. If the spousal rate isn't higher than your own rate, you wouldn't be eligible for any spousal benefits even if your own benefits are in suspense.

Depending on your and your wife's relative benefit rates a better strategy may be for your wife to file for spousal benefits only on your record at her full retirement age and then file for her own benefits at age 70. To determine if that or a different strategy is best in your case you and your wife should strongly consider using our maximization software.

Best, Jerry