How Much Is The Spousal Benefit?

Jan 24 2017 - 6:00am

I am 64 and just applied for SS. I will be 65 on 3/9/17. My first payment is in May due to withholding checks yet this year as I continue to work. My husband will be 66 in May and will do the restricted spousal benefit until he is 70. My question is- what is the excess spousal/ supplemental benefit?? Is this something I can do when he reaches 70 and applies for his own SS? Or is this the best we can do or figure out? Thanks for any input here...


Unreduced Social Security spousal benefits are equal to 50% of the worker's full retirement age benefit rate (PIA). If the person filing for spousal benefits is already entitled to benefits on their own record, they would only qualify for spousal benefits if their own PIA is less than half of their spouse's PIA.

So, if your husband files for spousal benefits only at age 66, he'll receive 50% of your PIA. Then, when he switches to his own record at age 70, you could become eligible for an excess spousal benefit, but only if his PIA is more than twice as much as your own PIA. If that's the case, your excess spousal benefit would be equal to the difference between 50% of your husband's PIA and your own PIA. That amount would then be added to your own reduced retirement benefit.

It sounds like your husband's filing strategy is fine, but he may want to consider running the maximization software available on this website to make sure.

Best, Jerry