When Can I File On My Ex-Husband's Record?

Feb 28 2018 - 9:50am

I have been divorced for 4 years now and i was married for 34 years. I received 1/2 of 401k and 1/2 of pension plan just this year. My ex-husband is planning to file for early retirement at age 62. Will I be able to file as well or will I have to wait until I am 65 years of age ? Also, will this 401K and pension affect me when I do file on his benefits as to how much I will receive or will I automatically receive 50% of his benefits? And when could I file on his benefits because I am not making enough income to survive. And also, can I work and collect on his benefits when he files?


It sounds like you could potentially qualify for divorced spousal benefits as soon as both you and you husband reach age 62. But, if you were born after January 1 1954 you could only qualify for divorced spousal benefits if 50% of your husband's full retirement age rate (PIA) is higher than your own PIA. And, if you qualify and file for divorced spousal benefits at age 62 your benefit rate would be reduced by anywhere from 30% to 35% depending on your year of birth. Also, until you reach full retirement age (FRA) your benefits could be partially or fully withheld depending on how much you earn (https://www.ssa.gov/planners/retire/whileworking2.html).

If the 401K and pension plans to which you refer are based on your husband's work and earnings then they wouldn't affect your Social Security benefits. And, even if they're based on your own work they won't affect your Social Security benefits unless your earnings were exempt from Social Security taxes.

You may want to strongly consider using our maximization software in order to explore and compare all of your filing options in order to determine your best strategy for claiming benefits.

Best, Jerry