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Can spouse get 50% of my benefits if she took early benefits on her account?

My spouse will be turning 62 this year and is considering taking early Social Security benefits. I am 63 and plan on waiting until 70 for my benefits. Once I start claiming benefits, will she be able to claim 50% of my benefits (they will be larger than her benefits)?

 

I'm been trying to research this but seem to be getting different answers.

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@MJuby wrote:

My spouse will be turning 62 this year and is considering taking early Social Security benefits. I am 63 and plan on waiting until 70 for my benefits. Once I start claiming benefits, will she be able to claim 50% of my benefits (they will be larger than her benefits)?

 

I'm been trying to research this but seem to be getting different answers.


The Balanced Budget Act of 2015 made a change which will affect your spouse if my calculations of your spouse's birth year is correct.  She was born in 1958.

 

This is from the following:  See page 8

SSA: 2020 Retirement Benefits Publication EN-05-10035 

 

If you were born on or after January 2, 1954, and qualify for both retirement and spouse’s (or divorced spouse’s) benefits, you must apply for both benefits. This is called “deemed filing.” If you file for one benefit, you are “deemed” to file for the other one, too, even if you don’t become eligible for it until later.

 

So if she files for her retirement benefits at 62, she will be filing early and get a reduced amount of her full benefit.

 

From the same link as before - Page 4

You can get Social Security retirement benefits as early as age 62. However, we’ll reduce your benefit if you retire before your full retirement age. For example, if you turn age 62 in 2020, your benefit would be about 28.3 percent lower than it would be at your full retirement age of 66 and 8 months.

 

Since she is "deemed" to be filing for all of her retirement benefits, which would be her own benefit and that of a spouse, but you are still working - she can only get her own benefit when she files at age 62. You have to be drawing your benefit for her to get a spousal benefit.

 

Now when you retire at whatever age she will be able to get a spousal benefit - IF it is larger than her own - It will most likely be a blending of her benefit + the spousal.  It all works out to equal the higher of the two benefits.

 

However, if you work until 70 before you retire, you will earn those delayed credits - about 8% a year.  However, these delayed credits are not included in the Spousal benefit.  The 50% spousal benefit will be based on your retirement amount AT YOUR FULL RETIREMENT AGE ( I think yours is 66 years old + 6 months)  Chart is from the same link as above, page 4.

Screenshot_2020-07-22 Retirement Benefits - EN-05-10035 pdf.png

 

Your spouse (and you) should familiarize yourself to this SSA page:

SSA:  Retirement Benefits:  Benefits for Your Family

especially the section titled:  Benefits For Your Spouse

The benefits for your spouse do not include any delayed retirement credits you may receive.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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It's my understanding that she can collect her own SS benefit at 62, then switch to collecting 50% of yours at the full retirement age (67), regardless of when you start receiving benefits.

 

I know I read that somewhere, but you're right, it's hard to find within the official SSA pamphlets.

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https://www.ssa.gov/OACT/quickcalc/spouse.html

Okay, found this. So I guess you have to first apply for benefits before your wife can get a portion of yours. She can receive it as early as 62, but it will only be 32%, as opposed to 50% at 67.