Can My Wife Claim A Spousal Benefit Of 50% Of My Benefit When She Reaches Full Retirement Age?

Aug 24 2019 - 10:35am

I currently receive benefits with a slight WEP reduction. My wife is not receving benefits but is receiving a State Teachers Retirement System (STRS) benefit from OH. She has enough time in covered employment to earn a small SSA benefit (probably about $300 per month) which, I believe, will be reduced further by WEP. At her full retirement age (66y4m) can she claim a spousal benefit of 50% of my benefit?

Hi,

Probably not. It sounds like any spousal benefits that your wife could otherwise qualify for would be subject to offset due to the Government Pension Offset (GPO) provision (https://www.ssa.gov/pubs/EN-05-10007.pdf). Assuming that your wife's earnings under the STRS pension program were exempt from Social Security taxes, her spousal benefits would almost certainly be offset by an amount equal to 2/3rds of the amount of a her STRS pension.

Our software (https://maximizemysocialsecurity.com/purchase) is fully programmed to handle computations involving both WEP (Windfall Elimination Provision) and/or GPO, so your wife may want to strongly consider using it to explore and compare her various options for claiming benefits.

Best, Jerry