Will My WIfe Receive Additional Spousal Benefits When I Start Collecting My Benefits?

Category: 
Aug 1 2020 - 2:30pm

HI Larry,
My wife turned 62 in November of 2019 and is collecting $700 per month as a reduced benefit given her age. I am 61 years of age turning 62 in Sept of 2020 and expect to collect $2800 per month when I turn 66 years and 7 month old (FRA). I am trying to determine if my wife will recieve additional spousal benefit when I begin collecting or do I need to suspend her current benefits, pay back what she recieved and restart the clock for her to get additional spousal benefits. I have read if she collects early she will give up any spousal benefits but I also read one of your replies and it seems she may have additional benefits either way. I would really appreciate it if you would clarify this and please email me a reply. Thank you.

Hi,

Just an FYI, if you were born in 1958 your full retirement age (FRA) is age 66 & 8 months, not 66 & 7 months (https://www.ssa.gov/OP_Home/cfr20/404/404-0409.htm).

When your wife filed for her benefits she was deemed to also be filing for spousal benefits. She'll be potentially eligible for spousal benefits effective with the first month that you claim your benefits. Her unreduced spousal amount would then be calculated by subtracting her primary insurance amount (PIA) from 50% of your PIA. A person's PIA is equal to their Social Security retirement benefit amount if they start drawing at FRA. If you start drawing before your wife reaches FRA, her excess spousal rate will be reduced.

In other words, when you start drawing your benefits it sounds like your wife will qualify for an excess spousal benefit to be paid in addition to her own reduced benefit. You may want to strongly consider using our software to help you determine the best overall strategy for claiming your benefits.

Best, Jerry