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Valued Social Butterfly
Posts: 8,456
Registered: ‎08-18-2008

Re: Question about Survivor's benefit

Message 1 of 4 (452 Views)


tbarsh wrote:

Hello,

 

I have a question regarding Spousal and Survivor’s benefits.

 

If my spouse obtains her spousal benefit before her FRA her spousal benefit will be reduced from otherwise. Understood.

 

Now should I pass AFTER she is older than her FRA will her Survivor’s benefit be reduced as well? Or because she is then beyond her FRA will she then obtain her full benefit?

Thank you for your comments.


For your wife to get SPOUSAL benefits, YOU have to be receiving retirement benefits or receiving SS Disability and SHE has to be at least 62 years of age, unless you have a dependent child who is also receiving benefits, then her age does not matter.

 

If your spouse begins receiving spousal benefits before her full retirement age, then she is getting a reduced spousal benefit and that reduction will continue even when she reaches FRA.

 

There is more details of the spousal benefit located on this page of the SS website covering this and other combination of things.

 Benefits for You As SPOUSE

 

Now if you die, her benefit will CHANGE to a SURVIVORS benefit - when a widow draws a surviving benefit, this is based on the deceased spouse benefit amount and if she is OVER her FRA at that the time she starts drawing this SURVIVORS benefit, then it is not reduced.  

 

I believe this website explains how the computation works pretty well.

National Academy of Social Insurace (NASI). - Social Security for Widowed Spouses in Retirement

 

Note one of the examples at the above link:

" Example: John Smith has a $1,200-a-month retirement benefit. His wife Jane gets $600 as a 50 percent spousal benefit. Total family income from Social Security is $1,800 a month. When John dies, Jane will get $1,200 a month as her survivor benefit, two-thirds of the benefit the Smiths had received as a couple. Total income for Jane as a widow is $1,200 a month."

 

Hope this helps - The only thing different in your scenario than in this example, is that your spouse's spousal benefit is probably less than 50% of yours since she began taking it between age 62 and her FRA.

 

 

 

.

 

 

 

Info Seeker
Posts: 2
Registered: ‎01-01-2013

Re: Question about Survivor's benefit

[ Edited ]
Message 2 of 4 (466 Views)

Thanks for the tips!

We do have such accounts and I have pored over the SS documentation that is available trying to find the answer to this question. I have written to the SSA (no answer yet) and I am waiting for a "phone call back" from them to answer the question.

I am thinking that the SSA's downloadable software (anypia32.exe) will give me the answer I'm looking for, if not in so many words it should give me the dollar amount of spouse's Survivor's benefit (should that come). But just trying to figure out how to use/run anypia is quite involved as well.

It seems like there must be thousands of people who know the answer to this question based on their personal experience. I was hoping to tap that knowledge here at AARP.

Recognized Social Butterfly
Posts: 1,188
Registered: ‎04-07-2009

Re: Question about Survivor's benefit

[ Edited ]
Message 3 of 4 (490 Views)

I suggest you both visit the Social Security web site and if you haven't already, create an account. Be sure to read the FAQs.

If you are unable to find an answer to your question or questions then check with your closest local Social Security office.

Highlighted
Info Seeker
Posts: 2
Registered: ‎01-01-2013

Question about Survivor's benefit

Message 4 of 4 (502 Views)

Hello,

 

I have a question regarding Spousal and Survivor’s benefits.

 

If my spouse obtains her spousal benefit before her FRA her spousal benefit will be reduced from otherwise. Understood.

 

Now should I pass AFTER she is older than her FRA will her Survivor’s benefit be reduced as well? Or because she is then beyond her FRA will she then obtain her full benefit?

Thank you for your comments.