Would My Spouse's Earnings Affect My Benefits?

Category: 
Aug 13 2019 - 8:04am

I am 64 and my spouse is 67. I retired in February 2015 and I have a pension. We both have had long careers and good incomes. My benefit if I applied today would be around $2500 a month If my spouse files a restricted application, is my spousal benefit affected in any way by his continuing to work?

Hi,

Your spouse is apparently the only one of you that was born prior to January 2 1954, so only he could potentially file a restricted application for spousal benefits only. Anyone born after January 1 1954 is deemed to be filing for both their own Social Security retirement benefits and spousal benefits whenever they apply for either benefit.

You would have to be drawing your Social Security retirement benefits in order for your spouse to be able to draw spousal benefits, though, and if you file for your benefits prior to full retirement age (FRA) your benefit rate will be reduced for age. If you were still working then both your benefits and your spouse's spousal benefits could be fully or partially withheld if you earned more than the Social Security earnings test exempt amount, but only until you reach FRA. You say that you're retired, though, so apparently that wouldn't be an issue for you.

Since your spouse is over FRA, he could earn any amount without affecting either his spousal benefits or his own retirement benefits. Nor would his earnings affect your benefits in any way. The only way that his earnings could affect your benefits is if he was under FRA and you were drawing spousal benefits on his record. You and your spouse may want to strongly consider using our software (https://maximizemysocialsecurity.com/purchase) to explore and compare all of your various filing options so that you can determine your best possible filing strategy.

Best, Jerry