If I Died Before My Wife's FRA Could She Continue Receiving Spousal Benefits Until FRA?

Jun 26 2018 - 11:25am

Hi Larry. I haven't found the answer to this specific question anywhere. If my wife was already receiving spousal benefits which she started at age 62, if I die before she reaches FRA at age 67, would she continue to receive spousal benefits off of my record until her FRA, when she can then switch to Survivor Benefits at an unreduced rate? Thanks, Cliff

Hi Cliff,

No, spousal benefit entitlement ends effective with the month of the wage earner's death. If your wife was drawing reduced spousal benefits only and you died before she was full retirement age (FRA), she would automatically convert to reduced widow's benefits. The applicable reduction rate would be based on her age at the time of your death.

On the other hand, if your wife was receiving reduced benefits on her own record and you died before she reached FRA, she could elect to wait until FRA to start drawing unreduced widow's benefits.

Best, Jerry