Does Spouse Benefit From Social Security? These 3 rules may surprise you
Does Spouse Benefit From Social Security?  These 3 rules may surprise you

Does Spouse Benefit From Social Security? These 3 rules may surprise you

If you are married – or divorced after at least 10 years of marriage – you have several choices when it comes to your social security checks. Specifically, you may be better off claiming spousal benefits based on your husband’s or wife’s work, registering rather than claiming your own benefit.

Choosing spouse benefits will usually give you more money if your partner had a higher income than you. But there are a few special rules that apply to these services that you need to know about. Here are three of them.

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Early filing of fines reduces your monthly income

Spouse benefits can be worth up to 50% of your husband’s or wife’s standard benefit (this is the amount your partner would receive at their full retirement age). So if your spouse, whose record you claim benefits from, was entitled to a monthly payment of $ 1,500, you could receive up to $ 750 a month in spousal benefits.

The most important thing to note, however, is that this is maximum. You will end up with significantly less if you start spousal benefits before yours full retirement age. That’s true no matter how old your boyfriend is. If the primary employee requires benefits from FRA, but you start your checks when you are only 62Early filing penalties could reduce your monthly Social Security check for as little as 32.5% of your partner’s standard performance – down from 50%.

Before starting your checks early, make sure you are aware of this major potential drawback.

2. You can not claim your spouse benefits until your spouse has

If you are eager to claim spousal benefits, you may be faced with an unpleasant surprise if your partner postpones the application for their own checks. This is because you can not claim until the primary employee begins to receive their own pension money.

This rule does not apply if you have been divorced for at least two years and require spousal benefits. But others who want to get a pension check based on a spouse’s work history will find that they have no choice but to wait.

The good news is that you are allowed to claim your own pension benefits in the meantime – as long as you qualify based on your own work history and are at least 62. In fact, it is a common strategy for the low paid to start their benefits first to allow their spouse to defer a claim and avoid having early filing of fines applied to the larger monthly benefit.

3. You can not earn late pension credits even if your spouse can

A primary employee who demands benefits on their own work history may actually increase the amount of money they receive in addition to their standard benefit amount.

They can do this by waiting beyond their full retirement age and earning delayed pension credits. Credits are available up to 70 and increase a standard benefit by 2/3 of 1% per month or up to 8% for each full year with delay.

While it can often pay off for a primary employee to wait to receive this extra money, retirees claiming spousal benefits cannot increase their checks using this approach. Late retirement credits are not available for spousal benefits that may not exceed 50% of the primary employee’s standard benefit.

Since you do not get any bonus for waiting, there is no benefit in postponing the start of spouse benefits beyond your full retirement age. However, you may have to wait if your spouse has not yet unlocked the justification by claiming their own checks.

Knowing all three of these rules is crucial to making an informed choice about when you want your spousal benefits to begin, so be sure to understand their implications and work with your partner to make social security decisions that makes the most sense for both of you.


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