If I Die Before I Start Drawing Benefits, What Will My Wife Receive?

Feb 4 2017 - 7:45am

I am 67 and my wife is 59. I have suspended my benefits until I reach age 70. If I die before I start my benefits at age 70 , will my wife immediately start getting what I would be entitled to when I die. ( my actual benefit plus my delayed Retirement Credits that I have built up? Thanks


If you die before your wife, her unreduced widow's rate would be equal to what your benefit rate would have been if you had started drawing your benefits in the month of your death. However, if your wife started drawing the widow's benefit before full retirement age (FRA), they would be reduced for age.

For example, say your full retirement age rate (PIA) is $2000, and you die in the month that you turn age 68 without having drawn benefits. Your wife's unreduced widow's rate would then be $2320 (i.e. $2000 x 1.16). If she started drawing the widow's benefits in the month she reaches age 60, her rate would be reduced by 28.5%, or to around $1658 (i.e. $2320 x .715).

Best, Jerry