If My Husband Starts Drawing His Benefits At Age 70 And Dies When I'm FRA, Will I Get The Amount He Was Drawing Or His FRA Rate?

Oct 16 2019 - 1:45pm

My husband was born April, 1953. I was born Oct, 1957.
He is allowed to draw a spousal benefit on me if I start my benefits this month when I am 62.
He starts collecting at age 70 on his benefit. He dies at age 73. I will be FRA by then.
Will my survivor benefit be the amount he was drawing at his death? The social security office told me I will only get his FRA, I will not be able to take advantage of his delayed retirement credits.


What you were apparently told by Social Security is wrong. If your husband waits until age 70 to start drawing his Social Security retirement benefits and he subsequently dies after you've reached full retirement age (FRA), you would be eligible for the higher of a) your own retirement benefit rate or b) your husband's full benefit rate inclusive of the delayed retirement credits (DRC) he earned by waiting until age 70 to draw his benefits.

Although filing at age 62 so that your husband can file for spousal benefits may be a good plan, whether or not it's your best strategy depends on your and your husband's relative benefit rates and your earnings (if any) between now and your FRA. You and your husband should strongly consider using our software (https://maximizemysocialsecurity.com/purchase) to compare your various options so that you can determine your best overall strategy for claiming your benefits.

Best, Jerry