Will my wife’s earnings impact her eligibility to receive spousal benefits?

Published: October 27, 2020

Full question: I just turned 69 and filed for Social Security benefits. My monthly benefit is $2,900. My wife is only 63 and she still works. Can she collect a spousal benefit and will her earnings impact this?

Hi there,

If you just started collecting at age 69 and your benefit is $2,900 then your PIA – the amount you would have collected at your Full Retirement Age (FRA) of 66 – is about $2,340.

AT her FRA of 66-6 months, your wife would be eligible to collect a spousal benefit equal to 50% of your PIA ($1,170). If her own PIA or retirement benefit at that age is greater than $1,170, she would receive her own higher amount.

If she files at age 63, her own retirement benefit and the spousal benefit would both be less, but she would still only collect whichever is higher.

At any age from 62 to her FRA that she has earnings from work and is also collecting Social Security (retirement or spousal) benefits, she would be affected by the earnings test. Learn more about the earnings test here.

The 2020 and 2021 earnings limits are $18,240 and $18,960, respectively, from 62 to the year she will turn FRA and $48,600 and $50,520, respectively, for the months of that year prior to the month of FRA.

Take care,

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