My husband is 66 and I am 59. Can I collect spousal benefits?

Published: July 22, 2020


The answer is maybe, but not yet.

Age 62 is the earliest you are able to collect Social Security retirement and spousal benefits. If you are entitled to collect each of these, you will only collect the higher of the two amounts. Your husband must be collecting his retirement benefit for you to be eligible to collect a spousal benefit.

The Social Security retirement benefit amount that workers receive at their full retirement age (FRA) is known as their primary insurance amount, or PIA.

Your spousal benefit amount is calculated based on your husband’s PIA and also the age at which you collect the benefit.

If you collect a spousal benefit at your own FRA or older, you will collect 50% of his PIA. If you collect a spousal benefit earlier than your FRA, the amount will be less.

As an example, let’s assume your husband has a PIA of $2,400 and you have a PIA of $500. Your own retirement benefit ($500) is less than 50% of your husbands PIA ($2,400/2=$1,200), so when you file for Social Security benefits at your FRA you would receive $1,200 per month.

If you file for benefits at ag 62, your retirement benefits would be reduced to $350 (70% of $500) and your spousal benefit would be reduced to $785 (32.71% of $2,400) so you would receive the higher amount of $785.

For more information on spousal benefits and a quick calculator to help you determine the amount, click here.

Take care,

Do you have a question about Social Security? Ask Martha your own question here.

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