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Spouse Benefits in SS
Old 05-18-2007, 04:20 PM   #1
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Spouse Benefits in SS

Hi all

New here, Does anyone know how to calculate benefits for your spouse at different retirement
dates for the primary earner. Can't find much on ss.gov except that at full retirement age a spouse
can claim 50% of the primary earner benefit at full retirement age. Is it always 50% or is it less
if you RE? Also how does Firecalc handle it when the spouse retires at 62 and at a later time gets
the secondary benefit from the spouse retiring?
Thanks

Homestead
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Re: Spouse Benefits in SS
Old 05-18-2007, 04:41 PM   #2
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Re: Spouse Benefits in SS

from the

http://www.ssa.gov/pubs/10035.html
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Re: Spouse Benefits in SS
Old 05-18-2007, 04:45 PM   #3
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Re: Spouse Benefits in SS

opps! hit enter by mistake

Spouse’s benefits
A spouse who has not worked or who has low earnings can be entitled to as much as one-half of the retired worker’s full benefit. If you are eligible for both your own retirement benefits and for benefits as a spouse, we always pay your own benefits first. If your benefits as a spouse are higher than your retirement benefits, you will get a combination of benefits equaling the higher spouse benefit.

If you are receiving a pension based on work where you did not pay Social Security taxes, your spouse’s benefit may be reduced. Additional information on pensions from work not covered by Social Security can be found in Pensions from work not covered by Social Security

If spouses want to get Social Security retirement benefits before they reach full retirement age, the amount of the benefit is reduced permanently. The amount of reduction depends on when the person reaches full retirement age.

For example:

If full retirement age is 65, a spouse can get 37.5 percent of the worker’s unreduced benefit at age 62;
If full retirement age is 66, a spouse can get 35 *percent of the worker’s unreduced benefit at age 62;
If full retirement age is 67, a spouse can get 32.5 percent of the worker’s unreduced benefit at age 62.
The amount of the benefit increases at later ages up to the maximum of 50 percent at full retirement age. If full retirement age is other than those shown here the amount of the benefit will fall between 32.5 percent and 37.5 percent at age 62.

However, if your spouse is taking care of a child who is under age 16 or disabled and gets Social Security benefits on your record, your spouse gets full benefits, regardless of age.

Here is an example:

Mary Ann qualifies for a retirement benefit of $250 and a spouse’s benefit of $400. At her full retirement age, she will receive her own $250 retirement benefit, and we will add $150 from her spouse’s benefit, for a total of $400. If she takes her retirement benefit before her full retirement age, both amounts will be reduced.

NOTE: Your current spouse cannot receive spouse’s benefits until you file for retirement benefits.

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Re: Spouse Benefits in SS
Old 05-18-2007, 05:07 PM   #4
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Re: Spouse Benefits in SS

Thanks that helps.
What do you suppose "percent of the worker’s unreduced benefit" means?


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Re: Spouse Benefits in SS
Old 05-18-2007, 05:27 PM   #5
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Re: Spouse Benefits in SS

Quote:
Originally Posted by homestead
Thanks that helps.
What do you suppose "percent of the worker’s unreduced benefit" means?


Homestead
The spouse's benefit is calculated off of the amount of the benefit the other spouse would be entitled to at full retirement age. That is what is meant by "unreduced benefit."
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Re: Spouse Benefits in SS
Old 05-18-2007, 05:44 PM   #6
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Re: Spouse Benefits in SS

Thank you Martha

Does this mean that no matter what age I retire, my spouse can get the full 50% benefit of my full retirement
benefit as long as she is at her full retirement age when I retire? I am 5 yrs younger than her.


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Re: Spouse Benefits in SS
Old 05-18-2007, 06:14 PM   #7
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Re: Spouse Benefits in SS

Quote:
Originally Posted by homestead
Thank you Martha

Does this mean that no matter what age I retire, my spouse can get the full 50% benefit of my full retirement
benefit as long as she is at her full retirement age when I retire? I am 5 yrs younger than her.


Homestead
Close. For ease of speaking, let's say that the wife had low income and would do better by taking a spousal benefit. Her spousal benefit is based on what her husband would get at full retirement age, no matter when he retires. But he has to retire before she gets a spousal benefit. Her benefit is reduced via a formula for retiring early. Some examples are given at www.ssa.gov/pubs/10035.html.
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Re: Spouse Benefits in SS
Old 05-18-2007, 06:16 PM   #8
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Re: Spouse Benefits in SS

A really good thread on the spousal benefit issues is here: http://early-retirement.org/forums/i...p?topic=8338.0
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