Will My Husband Be Able To Receive My Benefits If I File And Suspend?

Jun 1 2017 - 7:07am

I will be 66 in February, 2017, my full retirement age. I am still working full time. My husband will never be able to collect any of my social security due to the windfall elimination. If I file and suspend my Social Security, if I were to die suddenly, would my husband be able to collect my suspended benefits? If not, I am thinking I should just file and collect at 66.

Hi,

The windfall elimination provision (WEP) wouldn't prevent your husband from receiving benefits from your record. Maybe you are thinking about the Government Pension Offset provision (GPO), which can result in an offset of spousal or widow(er) benefits for people who are receiving a government pension based on their work that was exempt from Social Security taxes (https://www.ssa.gov/pubs/EN-05-10007.pdf). If your husband receives that type of pension, he likely wouldn't be able to receive either spousal or widower's benefits on your record unless the amount of the Social Security benefit is more than 2/3rds of the amount of his government pension.

If your question is whether or not your husband could claim your monthly benefits for the months that you suspended your benefits between full retirement age and the time of your death, the answer is no.

The maximization software on this website is programmed to handle both WEP and GPO considerations, so you may want to strongly consider running the software before you file for benefits. The software will allow you to compare your filing options and determine your best strategy.

Best, Jerry