When I Retire WIll My Wife Be Able To Receive 50% Of My Benefits?

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Jul 18 2019 - 8:07am

My wife is 66 and retired and collecting US social security. She has worked in the US for the last 12 years. She worked in Poland for at least 30 years before coming to USA in 2006 and receives Poland's social security benefits starting 6 years ago. We do not receive her pension here in the states, it all goes to a bank in Poland. Her US benefits have been reduced by WEP.
I will be retiring next year. I am a US citizen and have worked over 40 years. My question is that when I retire will my wife be able to receive 50% of my benefits. Thanks

Hi,

Assuming that 50% of your full retirement age rate, or primary insurance amount (PIA), is more than your wife's PIA, then she should qualify for a partial spousal benefit when you start drawing your benefits. She won't necessarily end up with exactly 50% of your benefit rate, though.

The amount of your wife's unreduced spousal benefit would be calculated by subtracting her PIA from 50% of your PIA. That would then be added to her own Social Security retirement benefit rate, so any reduction for age that she took to start drawing her benefits early would continue. Therefore, the only way that your wife would get a full 50% of your PIA would be if she didn't start drawing her own benefits prior to her full retirement age (FRA).

Your wife's Polish pension won't have any effect on her Social Security spousal benefits.

Best, Jerry