Will My Wife's Own Benefit Rate Be Reduced If She Receive's Child In Care Spousal Benefits?

Jan 16 2017 - 7:00am

Here is a question I am having trouble finding answer to. I am applying for retirement benefits at age 62 because we have a 6 year old and the amount she would receive as family benefit is more than the difference if I wait till age 66. My question concerns my wife. She is actually the higher wage earner and I know she can receive spousal benefits, even though she is not 62, because of the 6 year old. But, if she applies for spousal benefits, will that lock her into reduced benefits on her own Social Security even if she waits until age 66 to claim?


No, if your wife receives spousal benefits on the basis of having your child in her care, it will not cause a reduction in the benefit rate potentially payable on her own record. However, if she's still working, the Social Security earnings test (https://www.ssa.gov/planners/retire/whileworking2.html) would apply to her benefits until she reaches full retirement age.

You may want to consider running the maximization software available on this website before making any filing decisions.

Best, Jerry