Can My Wife File & Suspend And Collect Half Of My Social Security?

Jul 4 2016 - 1:30pm

I was born in November 1944 and my wife in March 1952. I took my social security in November 2010 when I reached full retirement age. I am self employed and my wife is still working and plans to continue
working for the next 3-4 years. She will reach full retirement age around March 2018. Can she file and suspend at that time, and collect half my social security. Right now, I get about $2000/ month on my social security. When should she contact Social Security.

Hi Vijay,

Your wife was born before 1954, so she still has the option of filing just for spousal benefits on your account when she reaches full retirement age (FRA), then switching to her own account at age 70.

She does not want to file and suspend on her own account, though. That would prevent her from receiving a spousal benefit on your account. The new law passed in 2015 prevents anyone who voluntarily suspends their benefits after April 29 2016 from receiving benefits on any other account while their benefit is in suspense.

What your wife needs to do is file a restricted application ONLY for spousal benefits at FRA, which is age 66 in her case, then file on her own account at age 70. Her application for spousal benefits needs to include a remark restricting the scope of the application, such as: 'I wish to restrict the scope of this application to spousal benefits only.' She should contact Social Security around 2 or 3 months prior to reaching FRA and age 70 in order to file the appropriate applications.

Best, Jerry