If I Pass Away, Would My Wife Receive Higher Benefits If I Wait Past FRA To Collect?

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Sep 22 2019 - 10:45am

If I pass away, would my wife receive a greater amount of social security if I wait past my FRA (66) to collect or do the benefits cap out at my FRA.

Hi,

Yes, assuming that your benefit rate is higher than your wife's own benefit rate. if you wait past full retirement age (FRA) to start drawing your Social Security retirement benefits your surviving spouse's widow's benefit rate would be based on your full benefit rate inclusive of any delayed retirement credits (DRC) you earn by waiting. So, for example, if you wait until age 70 to start drawing your Social Security retirement benefits and you then die prior to your wife, she would get the higher of a) her own benefit rate or b) your full age 70 rate as a widow assuming that she's at least FRA when she claims widow's benefits.

Best, Jerry