Join Early Retirement Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
SS Survivor Benefits
Old 07-17-2017, 02:14 PM   #1
Recycles dryer sheets
Nightcap's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Brewster
Posts: 226
SS Survivor Benefits

Here's the situation: The Unindicted Co-Conspirator and I earned about the same and will get about the same amount of Social Security benefits. She is three years younger than I, and may outlive me.

If she claims her own benefit at 62 and I claim at my FRA, I believe I am correct in assuming that she will be eligible to receive my full benefit in the event I kick off at age 71.

If I refrain from taking my benefit until age 70, what does she get when I shuffle off this mortal coil at 71? My full retirement amount (age 66 and 4 months) or the amount I started collecting at age 70?

I've tried to research this online, but can't seem to find a straight answer.
__________________

__________________
Nightcap is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 Early Retirement and Financial Independence Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

Are you planning to be financially independent as early as possible so you can live life on your own terms? Discuss successful investing strategies, asset allocation models, tax strategies and other related topics in our online forum community. Our members range from young folks just starting their journey to financial independence, military retirees and even multimillionaires. No matter where you fit in you'll find that Early-Retirement.org is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with our members, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create a retirement blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 07-17-2017, 02:49 PM   #2
Moderator
Walt34's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Eastern WV Panhandle
Posts: 16,062
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nightcap View Post
If she claims her own benefit at 62 and I claim at my FRA, I believe I am correct in assuming that she will be eligible to receive my full benefit in the event I kick off at age 71.

If I refrain from taking my benefit until age 70, what does she get when I shuffle off this mortal coil at 71? My full retirement amount (age 66 and 4 months) or the amount I started collecting at age 70?
My understanding is that she will get what you would have received at age 62, since that's the age she started collecting SS benefits. Therefore she should (if you want her to be able to receive a higher benefit) wait until she's the same age as you when you start SS. So if you apply at FRA, she should also wait until she is FRA.
__________________

__________________
I heard the call to do nothing. So I answered it.
Walt34 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 07-17-2017, 02:58 PM   #3
Recycles dryer sheets
Red Badger's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2017
Posts: 273
She gets 50% of your PIA (your benefit at your FRA) at her full retirement age. If she starts drawing at 62, the proverbial hair cut is in order. There is no increase beyond 50%, so no value in further delays.
__________________
Never let yesterday use up too much of today.
W. Rogers
Red Badger is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 07-17-2017, 03:06 PM   #4
Recycles dryer sheets
Nightcap's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Brewster
Posts: 226
Quote:
Originally Posted by Red Badger View Post
She gets 50% of your PIA (your benefit at your FRA) at her full retirement age. If she starts drawing at 62, the proverbial hair cut is in order. There is no increase beyond 50%, so no value in further delays.
No, I'm quite certain that's wrong. Remember, she has her own SS, which is roughly the same as mine (maybe a double sawbuck per month less). She'll collect whatever benefit she's due from her own account whenever she claims. However, if I don't claim mine until I'm 70 and then kick off at 71, my question is, is she due my FRA amount as survivor, or the 130% more because I didn't claim until 70?

SSAnalyze seems to indicate the latter, but I haven't found documentation at the ssa.gov site to support that. I figure it's something someone here must have encountered.
__________________
Nightcap is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-17-2017, 03:17 PM   #5
Moderator
MichaelB's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Second City Land
Posts: 23,710
From this source, under the circumstances described in the OP it looks like she would receive 50% of the full retirement benefit. https://www.ssa.gov/pubs/EN-05-10084.pdf

Quote:
We base the benefit amount on the earnings of the person who died. The more the worker paid into Social Security, the greater your benefits will be.

Social Security uses the deceased worker’s basic benefit amount to calculate the percentage survivors can get. The percentage depends on the survivor’s age and relationship to the worker. If the worker who died was getting reduced benefits, we’ll base your survivor’s benefit on that amount. In most typical claims for benefits:

• A widow or widower, at full retirement age or older, generally gets 100 percent of the worker’s basic benefit amount;

• A widow or widower, age 60 or older, but under full retirement age, gets about 71-99 percent of the worker’s basic benefit amount; or

• A widow or widower, any age, with a child younger than age 16, gets 75 percent of the worker’s benefit amount;

• A child gets 75 percent of the worker’s benefit amount.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nightcap View Post
However, if I don't claim mine until I'm 70 and then kick off at 71, my question is, is she due my FRA amount as survivor, or the 130% more because I didn't claim until 70?
Even if you delay, the survuvors benefit tops off at the FRA amount.
__________________
MichaelB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-17-2017, 03:27 PM   #6
Recycles dryer sheets
Nightcap's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Brewster
Posts: 226
Quote:
Originally Posted by MichaelB View Post
From this source, under the circumstances described in the OP it looks like she would receive 50% of the full retirement benefit. https://www.ssa.gov/pubs/EN-05-10084.pdf





Even if you delay, the survuvors benefit tops off at the FRA amount.
That's my confusion. (And the text you quote clearly says she gets 100%, not 50%.) SSAnalyze says otherwise, however. I completed the form setting my age of death at 71, and it said that she should claim from her own account at 62, I should wait until 70, and when my black camel kneels, she will then get my full 70-year benefit.
__________________
Nightcap is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-17-2017, 03:44 PM   #7
Moderator
MichaelB's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Second City Land
Posts: 23,710
Yes, 100% is what I read, then went and wrote 50. Senior moment.

It also says this
Quote:
A widow or widower, at full retirement age or older, generally gets 100 percent of the worker’s basic benefit amount
I may be wrong, but it looks like this says the benefit tops out at the FRA and does not increase after that.
__________________
MichaelB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-17-2017, 04:00 PM   #8
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Posts: 232
Quote:
Originally Posted by MichaelB View Post
Even if you delay, the survuvors benefit tops off at the FRA amount.
No, that's incorrect.

The survivor's benefit tops off at 100% of your benefit amount.

https://www.ssa.gov/planners/survivors/onyourown5.html

"The maximum survivors benefit amount is limited to what you would receive if you were still alive.

Widow or widower, full retirement age or older --100 percent of your benefit amount;"

Thus, if you delay collecting your benefits until age 70, and your spouse is at full retirement age or older when you pass, your spouse will collect the same benefit you were collecting - roughly 130 - 132% of your PIA. That is (or should often be) a primary motivation for the high-earner to delay collecting until age 70.

and

https://www.accountingweb.com/practi...vivor-benefits

"Postponing collection of Social Security until after attainment of FRA allows the beneficiary an annual increase of 8 percent in the amount ultimately received. Survivor benefits reflect delayed credits, meaning that if the deceased spouse had deferred taking Social Security, the higher benefit will be passed on to the survivor."

and

http://www.kiplinger.com/article/ret...e-widowed.html

"And the age a husband chooses to start collecting his own benefit can have a significant impact on the widow's ultimate survivor benefit. Just as the husband's payout grows 76% by delaying from age 62 to age 70, so does the widow's survivor benefit."

and

http://www.today.com/money/social-se...enefits-t32446

"Many couples will want to delay the higher earner’s payout until age 70. The reason? The surviving retired spouse will receive 100 percent of those higher benefits for the rest of his or her life."
__________________
Old enough to know better.
joeea is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-17-2017, 04:10 PM   #9
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Posts: 351
My understanding is that Survivor's benefits do not qualify for any delayed credits. That means if you qualify for survivor benefits today ( i.e. your spouse has already passed), then delaying does not increase that benefit. However delayed credits while alive do increase any survivor benefit to your spouse when you pass.

This is my understanding and how we are structuring our filing timeframe.

It is difficult to follow on SSA website.

I have read elsewhere that there is no "deemed filing" when it comes to survivor's benefits.

Of course I am not a SSA employee, nor do I play one on TV. YMMV Slightly higher west of the Rockies, and all the other disclaimers.
__________________
CRLLS is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-17-2017, 04:25 PM   #10
Moderator
MichaelB's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Second City Land
Posts: 23,710
This should clear things up. From the SSA https://www.ssa.gov/OP_Home/cfr20/404/404-0313.htm Learn something new every day.
Quote:
(e) What is the effect of my delayed retirement credits on the benefit amount of others entitled on my earnings record?—(1) Surviving spouse or surviving divorced spouse. If you earn delayed retirement credits during your lifetime, we will compute benefits for your surviving spouse or surviving divorced spouse based on your regular primary insurance amount plus the amount of those delayed retirement credits. All delayed retirement credits, including any earned during the year of death, can be used in computing the benefit amount for your surviving spouse or surviving divorced spouse beginning with the month of your death. We compute delayed retirement credits up to but not including the month of death.
__________________
MichaelB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-17-2017, 05:10 PM   #11
Recycles dryer sheets
Nightcap's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Brewster
Posts: 226
Quote:
Originally Posted by CRLLS View Post
My understanding is that Survivor's benefits do not qualify for any delayed credits. That means if you qualify for survivor benefits today ( i.e. your spouse has already passed), then delaying does not increase that benefit. However delayed credits while alive do increase any survivor benefit to your spouse when you pass.

This is my understanding and how we are structuring our filing timeframe.

It is difficult to follow on SSA website.

I have read elsewhere that there is no "deemed filing" when it comes to survivor's benefits.

Of course I am not a SSA employee, nor do I play one on TV. YMMV Slightly higher west of the Rockies, and all the other disclaimers.
Thanks, all. I've got a few years yet before I have to worry about this, but I'm writing up projections now to maximize DW's funds should I predecease her.
__________________
Nightcap is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-17-2017, 06:01 PM   #12
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Posts: 232
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nightcap View Post
Thanks, all. I've got a few years yet before I have to worry about this, but I'm writing up projections now to maximize DW's funds should I predecease her.
If you are the higher earner, and your goal is to maximize your spouse's social security check after you pass, waiting until 70 for you to begin collecting is almost certainly the right choice.
__________________
Old enough to know better.
joeea is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-19-2017, 09:48 AM   #13
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 115
And to confuse things a little more... FRA for survivor benefits is not the same as for your own! :face palm:

Since she is younger, she would be faced with her own decision on when to switch from her benefit to survivor. It might be worth collecting her benefit until she reaches her full retirement survivor age. All depends on what ages you're both at when the option to change occurs.
__________________
oldphd is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-19-2017, 11:33 AM   #14
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 148
If I may piggyback, can some of you learned SS folks confirm for me what my situation will be? (and maybe it helps with OP's understanding of what his wife might face)

I am 50--DH passed away at 55. My understanding (and also what is quoted above) is that I can start taking his SS when I turn 60, at 71% of his full benefit? And that then I can keep taking that until my FRA (67) or later, at which point my estimated SS benefit will be higher than the widow's benefit. (my guess is that they would cross when I am about 65)

(If I waited until 63, the widow benefits would be higher than my own would be at 67. I'm assuming I won't really need the money, but bird in hand, etc.)
__________________
googily is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 07-19-2017, 11:55 AM   #15
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Undisclosed
Posts: 89
googily. It is possible you would be better off taking your own reduced SS at age 62 and switching to the survivor benefit at age 67. I would plug your numbers into SS Analyze SSAnalyze - Bedrock Capital Management to see what it says. To see all values in today's dollars, set the first 2 values equal to 0 on the first line.
__________________
N02L84ER is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-19-2017, 12:15 PM   #16
Recycles dryer sheets
ducky911's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 381
Hi,

I am also 3 years older than my DW. Wife's ss is about half of mine (a bit less).
Max out.
DW files for ss at 62
I file for spousal at 66
I file for my own at 70
wife files for spousal at 67
Where it looks like the new rules do not allow this, it is still legal. There is some confusion with the new rules but I have had this check out by Maximize My Social Security.
__________________
You've got to ask yourself one question: Do I feel lucky? Well, do ya, punk?
I hate (despise) loads and fees
Retired July '11 investments 60/40 in very low cost index and mutual funds, balance once a year at best.
ducky911 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-19-2017, 03:49 PM   #17
Recycles dryer sheets
Nightcap's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Brewster
Posts: 226
Quote:
Originally Posted by ducky911 View Post
Hi,

I am also 3 years older than my DW. Wife's ss is about half of mine (a bit less).
Max out.
DW files for ss at 62
I file for spousal at 66
I file for my own at 70
wife files for spousal at 67
Where it looks like the new rules do not allow this, it is still legal. There is some confusion with the new rules but I have had this check out by Maximize My Social Security.


I’m pretty sure that loophole was closed in 2015.

Here’s Kotlikoff talking about it on NextAvenue:

“Under the new law, use of the file and suspend strategy is highly restricted. The spouse who is going to file and suspend has to have been born no later than May 1, 1950, and submit their request to file and suspend on or before April 29, 2016, so Social Security has time to process their application. This reflects the six-month grandfathering window including in the 2015 Budget.

The spouse who wants to take their full spousal benefit by itself and let their own retirement benefit grow must be born no later than Jan. 1, 1954. The grandfathering rule here is you need to be 62 by the end of the year, but Social Security treats someone whose birthday is on the first of a month as having changed their age on the last day of the prior month.

So if your spouse does file and suspend before this witching second, you better not turn 62 (the way you record your own birthday) even a nanosecond after midnight, Jan. 1, 2016.”
__________________
Nightcap is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-20-2017, 11:33 AM   #18
Recycles dryer sheets
ducky911's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 381
Like I said I have confirmed this with Maximize My Social Security.

When I read your post I also think they canned it, I find it very confusing to read. Much like any tax code.

Point on my case, if it makes a difference, is I was born in 1951. I have zero reason to question MMSS but will try to verify with SS before doing the first step later this year.

Thanks

Bob


Quote:
Originally Posted by Nightcap View Post
I’m pretty sure that loophole was closed in 2015.

Here’s Kotlikoff talking about it on NextAvenue:

“Under the new law, use of the file and suspend strategy is highly restricted. The spouse who is going to file and suspend has to have been born no later than May 1, 1950, and submit their request to file and suspend on or before April 29, 2016, so Social Security has time to process their application. This reflects the six-month grandfathering window including in the 2015 Budget.

The spouse who wants to take their full spousal benefit by itself and let their own retirement benefit grow must be born no later than Jan. 1, 1954. The grandfathering rule here is you need to be 62 by the end of the year, but Social Security treats someone whose birthday is on the first of a month as having changed their age on the last day of the prior month.

So if your spouse does file and suspend before this witching second, you better not turn 62 (the way you record your own birthday) even a nanosecond after midnight, Jan. 1, 2016.”
__________________
You've got to ask yourself one question: Do I feel lucky? Well, do ya, punk?
I hate (despise) loads and fees
Retired July '11 investments 60/40 in very low cost index and mutual funds, balance once a year at best.
ducky911 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-23-2017, 01:52 PM   #19
Full time employment: Posting here.
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 695
Here are the various rules I put together in my spreadsheet.
It's complicated.

SURVIVOR rules
Survivor reduction, can claim at 60, no increase for delay past 66
pct/mo % red
60 -0.395833333 -28.50
61 -0.395833333 -23.75
62 -0.395833333 -19.00
63 -0.395833333 -14.25
64 -0.395833333 -9.50
65 -0.395833333 -4.75
66 -0.395833333 0.00

SPOUSE rules
Spousal reduction
pct/yr Adj
62-63 -5.00 -30%
63-66 -8.33 -25%
Reduction applied to half the primary's FRA beneft.
No increase if deferred.
Survivor rules
He *did* file before death. "Early" means before FRA (normally 66).
Filed early Larger of his reduced benefit OR 82.5% of his FRA amount
Not early: Her reduced spousal benefit (based on her age) applied to his increased amount

He did *not* file before death:
Died early: His FRA amount
Not early: Her reduced spousal benefit applied to the amount he would have gotten if he filed at date of death.


Widow benefit base:
If he filed early His reduced benefit., but not more than 82.5% of his FRA benefit. ( 13 months of reduction)
If he filed not early His benefit (perhaps bumped up.)

Not file, died early His FRA benefit
Not filed, no die early His benefit at date of death (perhaps bumped up.)

Widow benefit reduction, based on her age vs. 66

Widow benefit base reduced by # of months before she is 66.
No increase past 66.
__________________
rayvt is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-24-2017, 04:37 AM   #20
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 5,264
Quote:
Originally Posted by ducky911 View Post
Hi,

I am also 3 years older than my DW. Wife's ss is about half of mine (a bit less).
Max out.
DW files for ss at 62
I file for spousal at 66
I file for my own at 70
wife files for spousal at 67
Where it looks like the new rules do not allow this, it is still legal. There is some confusion with the new rules but I have had this check out by Maximize My Social Security.




Quote:
Originally Posted by Nightcap View Post
I’m pretty sure that loophole was closed in 2015.

Here’s Kotlikoff talking about it on NextAvenue:

“Under the new law, use of the file and suspend strategy is highly restricted. The spouse who is going to file and suspend has to have been born no later than May 1, 1950, and submit their request to file and suspend on or before April 29, 2016, so Social Security has time to process their application. This reflects the six-month grandfathering window including in the 2015 Budget.

The spouse who wants to take their full spousal benefit by itself and let their own retirement benefit grow must be born no later than Jan. 1, 1954. The grandfathering rule here is you need to be 62 by the end of the year, but Social Security treats someone whose birthday is on the first of a month as having changed their age on the last day of the prior month.

So if your spouse does file and suspend before this witching second, you better not turn 62 (the way you record your own birthday) even a nanosecond after midnight, Jan. 1, 2016.”
this is not file and suspend , it is filing restricted application . the difference is no one is suspending and letting someone else take a benefit off a suspended payment .

as long as you were 62 or more in 2015 you can still file restricted application , but file and suspend is out . . if i delayed until 70 that was going to be our plan as well .

__________________

__________________
mathjak107 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
social security retirement disability - survivor's benefits engr FIRE and Money 3 05-31-2011 08:29 PM
Need advice for survivor SS benefits freebird5825 Other topics 12 09-23-2009 01:33 PM
Pension Survivor benefits 5j404 FIRE and Money 8 02-27-2006 05:03 PM
MOVED: Pension Survivor benefits Martha Hi, I am... 0 02-26-2006 05:42 AM
SS survivor benefits newellcr Young Dreamers 3 10-16-2004 05:48 AM

 

 
All times are GMT -6. The time now is 02:37 PM.
 
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.