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Another question on SS
Old 09-15-2015, 04:36 PM   #1
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Another question on SS

DW is 61 and I'm 63. I'm planning on taking SS at 70.

If I should pass away before 70, can the DW wait until the date that I would have been 70 to take it? Or is she required to take my SS at whatever age I would have been at my death?
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Old 09-15-2015, 04:56 PM   #2
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I am throwing out what I believe to be true....

Your DW's payment is based on your regular retirement date...

But, it is an interesting question on if she earns credits if she wait until she turns 70.... I do not think she would get the max amount when you would have turned 70....
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Old 09-15-2015, 05:40 PM   #3
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https://www.socialsecurity.gov/OP_Ho...book-0407.html

Quote:
407.1 How Is The Widow(Er)'S Benefit Rate Computed?

The widow(er)'s insurance benefit rate equals 100 percent of the deceased worker's primary insurance amount plus any additional amount the deceased worker was entitled to because of delayed retirement credits. (See §720.)

https://www.socialsecurity.gov/OP_Ho...book-0720.html
720.3 D
Quote:
If you are a widow(er) of a worker who had received or was eligible for delayed retirement credits, then you are entitled to the same increase that had been applied to the benefit of your deceased spouse or for which the deceased was eligible as of the time of death. A surviving (including divorced) spouse receiving widow(er)'s benefits is also entitled to this increase.
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Old 09-15-2015, 06:35 PM   #4
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see p.2.........I think this agrees w/ the previous post........the basic benefit is what the deceased would have been getting at time of death multiplied by
any age factor for survivor if less than full retirement age. I think the spouse can wait but she will be entitled only to COLA adjustments, not the enhanced benefit
that you would have got by waiting until 70 unless you had already earned those benefits at the time of your death.

"On the other hand, if the deceased spouse is not already receiving benefits, the first factor is the amount that the decedent would have received at the current age, if he or she were still living."
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Old 09-15-2015, 09:26 PM   #5
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I believe the antithesis to be true as well. For instance, if the insured takes "early retirement," that essentially becomes the insured amount for the widower. So, if you take SS retirement before FRA, your spouse is then stuck with the reduced amount. I apologize, I haven't studied this aspect too much...

Section 407.2 F

Quote:
The deceased worker was entitled to a reduced retirement benefit for the month before the month he or she died.
724.3 How Does The Reduction Formula Affect Widow(Er)'S Insurance Benefits?
Quote:
You can start receiving aged reduced widow(er)'s benefits at age 60. The most your widow(er)'s benefits can be reduced is 28.5% of the wage earner's PIA. Also, if you start receiving your widow(er)'s benefits at full retirement age and your deceased spouse received reduced benefits, your widow(er)'s benefits will always be reduced.
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Old 09-15-2015, 09:46 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by ronocnikral View Post
I believe the antithesis to be true as well. For instance, if the insured takes "early retirement," that essentially becomes the insured amount for the widower. So, if you take SS retirement before FRA, your spouse is then stuck with the reduced amount. I apologize, I haven't studied this aspect too much...
............................................
That's my understanding too. The part that was confusing to me is that
if both spouses are alive, the spousal SS is only dependent on the spousal factor (call it f2), that is whether the spouse takes SS early or not.
It does not depend on whether the primary earner took it early or not.

Yet once the primary earner passes, the survivor's benefit depends of both
factors f1 & f2(call the primary earner's f1) so if both took early, there is a double-reduction for the survivor.
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Old 09-15-2015, 10:45 PM   #7
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The maximum you can receive is the amount the spouse who dies was entitled to when they died, you cannot earn additional credit. If they are not yet 62 when they die, then you can wait to your FRA to claim full benefit of deceased spouse and no more. If you claim earlier then you reduce that benefit as well.

The one thing that is not clear is if the spouse is over full retirement age and has not yet claimed as to whether the spouse is entitled to the enhanced benefit.
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Old 09-16-2015, 07:53 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Running_Man View Post
The one thing that is not clear is if the spouse is over full retirement age and has not yet claimed as to whether the spouse is entitled to the enhanced benefit.
Are you saying....If the worker dies @ age 64 and has not yet initiated benefit payments, will the widow(er) get the benefit @ FRA or if they had taken a benefit @ 64?

If that is the question, I believe it to be the benefit @ FRA. As shown in SS handbook 407.1 and referenced earlier in this thread.

Not sure if that is what you were talking about though....
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Old 09-16-2015, 07:56 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by kaneohe View Post
That's my understanding too. The part that was confusing to me is that
if both spouses are alive, the spousal SS is only dependent on the spousal factor (call it f2), that is whether the spouse takes SS early or not.
It does not depend on whether the primary earner took it early or not.

Yet once the primary earner passes, the survivor's benefit depends of both
factors f1 & f2(call the primary earner's f1) so if both took early, there is a double-reduction for the survivor.
It's interesting though, that the max reduction as a spouse is 32.5% and as a widow(er) it is 28.5%....

As always, in most situations it is best to delay initiating SS retirement benefits as long as possible.
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Old 09-16-2015, 08:54 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by ronocnikral View Post
Are you saying....If the worker dies @ age 64 and has not yet initiated benefit payments, will the widow(er) get the benefit @ FRA or if they had taken a benefit @ 64?

If that is the question, I believe it to be the benefit @ FRA. As shown in SS handbook 407.1 and referenced earlier in this thread.

Not sure if that is what you were talking about though....
If the worker dies at age 64 the surviving spouse get the amount of SS the deceased spouse would have received if they had claimed SS on the date of his death, or whatever the benefit for age 64 computes to in other words
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Old 09-16-2015, 09:06 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Running_Man View Post
If the worker dies at age 64 the surviving spouse get the amount of SS the deceased spouse would have received if they had claimed SS on the date of his death, or whatever the benefit for age 64 computes to in other words
I think this answers the question I had. In simple language is this correct?:

No you can't delay taking of the spouses SS after death, you can only get what the spouse would have at time of death.
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Old 09-16-2015, 09:09 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by Running_Man View Post
The maximum you can receive is the amount the spouse who dies was entitled to when they died, you cannot earn additional credit. If they are not yet 62 when they die, then you can wait to your FRA to claim full benefit of deceased spouse and no more. If you claim earlier then you reduce that benefit as well.
This was my understanding as well, although I was not positive. DWs friend lost her husband who died in his 50s and she wanted to know what her SS benefits might be off his record. While I indicated I am not sure of this, I told her she probably would receive 100% of his benefit if she waited to her FRA to claim, and a reduction depending on if she took it early. Is that correct?
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Old 09-16-2015, 09:13 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Running_Man View Post
If the worker dies at age 64 the surviving spouse get the amount of SS the deceased spouse would have received if they had claimed SS on the date of his death, or whatever the benefit for age 64 computes to in other words
This is not my understanding. IF the worker had taken a reduced rate @ age 64, yes. But if the worker was waiting for FRA and had not entered "retirement" with the SSA, the widow(er) gets 100% of the PIA, with the following exceptions quoted below. Perhaps I don't fully understand or I am missing something, so if there is a reference showing otherwise, it would be great to have that...

Section 407.1 of the SS handbook clearly states that "The widow(er)'s insurance benefit rate equals 100 percent of the deceased worker's primary insurance amount plus any additional amount the deceased worker was entitled to because of delayed retirement credits."

Section 407.2 "When is the benefit rate less" outlines the 6 scenarios when a widow(er) benefit rate is less.

Quote:
A) A reduction is necessary because the “family maximum” applies (this reduction is discussed in §§731-732);

B) You are also entitled to a smaller retirement insurance or disability insurance benefit (only the difference between the larger widow(er)'s insurance benefit and the other benefit is payable as the widow(er)'s insurance benefit; however, this amount is payable in addition to the other benefit);

C) You are entitled for months before the month you reach retirement age. See §§723-725 for an explanation of how the reduced rate is computed;

D) You choose to receive and are paid a reduced widow(er)'s benefit for months before you reach retirement age. A reduced benefit rate is payable for as long as you are entitled to widow(er)'s benefits. For a possible adjustment at age 62 and retirement age, see §728;

NOTE: Entitlement to this reduced rate may result in a reduction in any disability or retirement insurance benefit to which you may later become entitled.

E) You are caring for your deceased spouse's child and:

1) The child is under age 16 or disabled;

2) The child is entitled to child's insurance benefits; and

3) You have not reached retirement age. In this case, your widow(er)'s benefits are not reduced for those months below 75 percent of the deceased spouse's primary insurance amount; or

F) The deceased worker was entitled to a reduced retirement benefit for the month before the month he or she died.
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Old 09-16-2015, 09:15 AM   #14
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That's my understanding too. The part that was confusing to me is that
if both spouses are alive, the spousal SS is only dependent on the spousal factor (call it f2), that is whether the spouse takes SS early or not.
It does not depend on whether the primary earner took it early or not.

Yet once the primary earner passes, the survivor's benefit depends of both
factors f1 & f2(call the primary earner's f1) so if both took early, there is a double-reduction for the survivor.
Bingo. I have a SIL and her DH that both claimed SS the minute they turned 62 and I know they have other assets. This was on the advice of their FA who then turned around and sold them an annuity from their other assests. This couple doesn't discuss, they just inform people about what they do and they love their FA, so I practice my blank look when speaking to them.
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Old 09-16-2015, 09:18 AM   #15
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This was my understanding as well, although I was not positive. DWs friend lost her husband who died in his 50s and she wanted to know what her SS benefits might be off his record. While I indicated I am not sure of this, I told her she probably would receive 100% of his benefit if she waited to her FRA to claim, and a reduction depending on if she took it early. Is that correct?
We may also be confusing a reduction in PIA due to missing working years and a reduction in the widow(er)'s benefit due to taking "early retirement."

The part I highlighted in Bold, I believe to be correct. But, I believe this to be different than what running man is saying.
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Old 09-16-2015, 10:48 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by ronocnikral View Post

The part I highlighted in Bold, I believe to be correct. But, I believe this to be different than what running man is saying.
Thanks, thats the part I was worried about
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Old 09-16-2015, 11:17 AM   #17
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Thanks, thats the part I was worried about
So that number would be 100% of the amount her late husband would have collected at FRA, minus any age deduction on her end. So, if you have a large benefit of your own to collect, you might want to wait until you hit your own FRA, to collect the survivors bennie, is that correct. The way the law is written now, you could then switch to your own benefit up until age 70 and still receive an age bump on your own check. Is that accurate, because I have a friend in exactly this position.
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Old 09-16-2015, 04:02 PM   #18
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So that number would be 100% of the amount her late husband would have collected at FRA, minus any age deduction on her end. So, if you have a large benefit of your own to collect, you might want to wait until you hit your own FRA, to collect the survivors bennie, is that correct. The way the law is written now, you could then switch to your own benefit up until age 70 and still receive an age bump on your own check. Is that accurate, because I have a friend in exactly this position.
Yes, and that was what I advised DWs friend, including that she would be able to switch to her own record at 70 if that amount where higher.
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Old 09-16-2015, 10:25 PM   #19
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If the worker dies at age 64 the surviving spouse get the amount of SS the deceased spouse would have received if they had claimed SS on the date of his death, or whatever the benefit for age 64 computes to in other words

Absolutely wrong.


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