My husband and I are each 65 and retired however are ready to assert Social Safety advantages till we are able to get a solution to 1 essential query: I labored (half time) sufficient to obtain about 20% of what my husband will obtain. If he dies first, we’ve been informed I might lose my Social Safety and obtain both his complete quantity or half his quantity. Are you able to present readability on this? Does ready till full retirement age (66-1/2) have an effect on this? If that’s the case, does both one or each want to achieve full retirement age? Appears essential to us!
There appears to be a number of confusion round Social Safety survivors benefits.
This isn’t stunning, as a result of the principles for figuring out the quantity of a Social Safety survivor profit may be fairly difficult. For the sake of clarification, the survivor profit referred to all through this text is thought inside the Social Safety Administration because the “widow(er)’s profit.”
When a major wage earner dies, the Social Safety system has a approach to offer a profit for the surviving partner. Survivor advantages are usually equal to the first wage earner’s retirement profit—this profit replaces different spousal retirement advantages (together with the one which is the same as 50% of the first wage earner’s profit, accessible whereas the first wage earner resides—see here for extra element).
The mechanics of the Social Safety survivor profit can apply to widows or widowers at numerous ages, relying upon the circumstances. Survivor advantages may also be accessible to the kids and/or dependent dad and mom of the first employee. On this article we’ll give attention to the surviving partner and the way the survivor profit works for a widow or widower.
When the first wage earner dies, the surviving partner is eligible to obtain a retirement profit primarily based on the first wage earner’s retirement profit. Basically, the unadjusted survivor profit is the same as the precise profit that the deceased partner was receiving. This may be adjusted in two methods:
- By the age of the employee when she or he began receiving retirement advantages. If the deceased employee began his or her personal profit previous to FRA, then there’s a minimal “ground” that the profit is lowered to — this may end in a barely bigger survivor profit.
- By the age of the surviving partner when she or he begins receiving the survivor profit. At any age earlier than FRA for survivor advantages, there will likely be a discount.
In any other case, the survivor profit can be equal to the retirement profit that the decedent had been receiving. This profit would then take the place of the survivor’s personal retirement profit, upon entitlement to the survivor profit.
After all, if the surviving partner’s personal retirement profit primarily based upon his or her personal file is the same as or greater than the deceased partner’s profit, the surviving partner will merely proceed to obtain solely his or her personal retirement profit. The survivor profit isn’t payable if it’s no more than a currently-received retirement profit. This assumes the surviving partner has already began receiving a profit primarily based on his or her personal file.
If the surviving partner has not but begun receiving retirement advantages primarily based on his or her personal file, there’s a option to make. Assuming the suitable age(s), the survivor advantages might be began immediately, delaying retirement advantages; or retirement advantages may begin whereas delaying survivor advantages.
If the surviving partner elects to start receiving survivor advantages earlier than full retirement age (FRA), the profit is topic to actuarial discount. Since a surviving partner is eligible to start receiving early advantages at age 60 (as a substitute of age 62 for normal or spousal advantages), the “common” FRA desk is adjusted by two years. Whereas FRA for normal or spousal advantages for these born between 1943 and 1954 is age 66, FRA for a survivor profit is 66 for these born between 1945 and 1956. If the surviving partner is disabled (by SSA definition), early advantages could also be acquired any time after age 50, with the actuarial discount assuming advantages start at age 60 (no additional discount, in different phrases).
Along with the profit talked about above, there’s a father or mother’s profit accessible to a youthful partner (lower than full retirement age) if there’s a youngster or youngsters beneath age 16 that the surviving partner is caring for. This additionally applies for a kid of any age who has turn out to be completely disabled earlier than age 22. This father or mother’s profit is the same as 75% of the FRA profit (the PIA, Major Insurance coverage Quantity) of the deceased partner. The father or mother’s profit solely lasts till the kid reaches age 16.
There isn’t any improve to be gained by delaying receipt of the survivor profit previous FRA, so a widow or widower ought to start receiving survivor advantages at FRA if eligible. It must also be famous that divorced spouses who survive a deceased employee are additionally eligible for the survivor profit, so long as the wedding lasted not less than 10 years earlier than the divorce, and the surviving ex-spouse didn’t remarry (in a present marriage) earlier than age 60.
Do you’ve got questions on retirement, Social Security, where to live or how to afford it at all? Write to HelpMeRetire@marketwatch.com and we could use your query in a future story.