Will My Ex Be Able To Claim A Divorced Spousal Benefit Even Though I Became Eligible For Social Security After We Divorced?

Jul 19 2019 - 8:01am

Hi Larry,
I worked for the government most of my life. I married (over 10yrs) and then divorced. After the divorce I retired from the government and began to work in the private sector. I was able to earn the last of my 40 credits for a social security benefit at that time.
I understand that any social security benefit to me will be offset by my pension. I am 62 and plan to wait to file for social security at 70. My question is:
Will my ex be able to claim a divorced spousal benefit based on my work record even though I became eligible for social security long after we divorced? If so, at what age can he draw this benefit and will his benefit be reduced due to my pension (he does not receive any part of the pension)?

Hi,

If you're receiving a pension based on your work that was exempt from Social Security taxes, then your Social Security retirement benefit rate will likely be reduced due to the Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP). Your ex-spouse could still potentially qualify for divorced spousal benefits if he meets the requirements (https://www.ssa.gov/OP_Home/handbook/handbook.03/handbook-0311.html), but his divorced spousal rate would be calculated based on your reduced WEP benefit rate. Divorced spousal benefits can be payable as early as age 62, but are reduced for age if the person starts drawing prior to their full retirement age (FRA).

Best, Jerry