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If I take my benefits ealy and suspend payments and my wife

Customer Question
(67) takes early benefits, does...
If I take my benefits ealy and suspend payments and my wife (67) takes early benefits, does her benefit rise to 50% of my check when I start at 70?
Submitted: 1 year ago.Category: Social Security
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Answered in 18 minutes by:
9/5/2016
Social Security Expert: Dr. Fiona Chen, Certified Public Accountant (CPA) replied 1 year ago
Dr. Fiona Chen
Dr. Fiona Chen, Certified Public Accountant (CPA)
Category: Social Security
Satisfied Customers: 482
Experience: Former IRS Revenue Agent
Verified

Dear Customer,

There are several aspects.

1) does her benefit rise to 50% of my check when I start at 70?

No, spousal benefits stops at the higher earner's full retirement age. The accumulation from full retirement age to higher, say 70, will not apply.

"Auxiliary benefits, including both spousal and survivor benefits, are also reduced if they are claimed early, but different rules apply. At the FRA, a spouse is eligible to receive 50 percent of a retired-worker's benefit. Spousal retirement benefits can start at age 62 and are reduced for each month they are claimed before the FRA by slightly different reduction factors than those described earlier.4 However, spousal benefits do not increase if the retired worker earns DRCs.5"

https://www.ssa.gov/policy/docs/ssb/v74n4/v74n4p21.html

2) Depending at which age you suspend your payment, if you mean suspending after full retirement age, your wife's spousal benefit will suspend, as well.

"Under the new law, you can still voluntarily suspend benefit payments at your full retirement age (currently 66) in order to earn higher benefits for delaying. But during a voluntary suspension, other benefits payable on your record, such as benefits to your spouse, are also suspended."

https://www.ssa.gov/planners/retire/claiming.html

Please feel free to follow up.

Regards,

Fiona Chen, MPA, Ph.D., CPA, ABV, CFF, CITP

https://www.ssa.gov/planners/retire/applying6.html

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Customer reply replied 1 year ago
Not sure I understand. I am 68, she is 66. I took early benefits and suspended mine She now gets a check for 1200 per month. My benefits when I turn 70 are 3300 per month . Will her check rise to 1650 per month at that Time (50% of my benefit?
Social Security Expert: Dr. Fiona Chen, Certified Public Accountant (CPA) replied 1 year ago

Dear Customer,

It is always true under the old and new laws that the spousal benefit is at the maximum of the higher earner's full retirement age. There is no law provision to allow for the spousal benefit to increase as the higher earner's part to increase. That is, your amount can increase after full retirement age. Her spousal benefit will not be able to increase.

Your wife's portion will not rise to 1,650 per month.

Please feel free to follow up.

Regards,

Fiona

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Dr. Fiona Chen
Dr. Fiona Chen
Dr. Fiona Chen, Certified Public Accountant (CPA)
Category: Social Security
Satisfied Customers: 482
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Experience: Former IRS Revenue Agent

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