Was The SS Representative I Spoke With Correct?

Sep 21 2018 - 8:11pm

Question regarding survivor's/widow's benefit. Page 62 of "Get What's Yours" states "If they died after FRA, your survivor's benefit is the actual benefit, inclusive of Delayed Retirement Credits..." My wife and I are the same age, 65 (born 1952) and she filed on her social security at 62. I just filed for spousal benefits on her record when I turn 66 in Dec 2018 and plan to hold off of filing on my record till 70. SS Rep told me that if I pass away at 70 or older, widow benefits would be based on my FRA amount and not the increased amount I receive at age 70 based on the accumulation of delayed credits. Are they correct? That seems to be in conflict with the statement on page 62.

Hi,

No, the representative you spoke with is mistaken. If you wait until age 70 to start drawing your own retirement benefits and you subsequently die before your wife, she would receive your full age 70 rate as your survivor (https://www.ssa.gov/OP_Home/handbook/handbook.04/handbook-0407.html). She would not receive both your full age 70 rate and her own benefit, though, just the higher of the two.

Best, Jerry