If I Take Reduced Survivor Benefits At Age 60, Will My Rate Go Up Later?

Jul 2 2017 - 8:27am

HI, I am 59 years old, will be 60 in march 2018, my ex husband died at age 56, we were married over 10 years,
I am going to collect widows benefits once I turn 60, my question is , I know its a reduced rate for early retirement, but will it go up when I turn a certain age
Jen

Hi Jen,

No, unless you receive Social Security disability benefits (SSDI), the 28.5% rate reduction that you would take for starting surviving divorced spousal benefits at age 60 is permanent. Your benefit rate could be adjusted upward after you reach full retirement age, however, if any of your benefits are withheld due to the Social Security earnings test (https://www.ssa.gov/planners/retire/whileworking2.html).

If you are insured for benefits on your own record and you are not disabled, your best filing strategy is likely one of the following:
1) File for reduced surviving divorced spousal benefits at age 60 or as soon as your earnings will permit benefits to be paid, then switch to your own record at age 70; or,
2) File for reduced retirement benefits at age 62 or as soon as your earnings will permit benefits to be paid, then file for unreduced surviving divorced spousal benefits at full retirement age.

The maximization software available on this website can help you determine which of the above filing strategies is best in your case, as well as when to apply for each type of benefit.

Best, Jerry