Social Security: Can both spouses collect spousal benefits?

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Social Security: Can both spouses collect spousal benefits?

Postby Browser » Mon Feb 25, 2013 12:22 pm

Divorced former spouses, married more than 10 years, have both reached their full retirement age and each has social security benefits. Can both file and suspend in order that the other can begin collecting spousal benefits and allow their own benefits to grow by accumulating delayed retirement credits?
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Re: Social Security: Can both spouses collect spousal benefi

Postby MN Finance » Mon Feb 25, 2013 12:34 pm

Yes, but they're divorced so the other spouse doesn't need to file and suspend (you have presumably no control over what your divorced spouse does, so that's not a requirement). The spouse in question can just start spousal benefits when the spouse who's record they're qualifying on attains FRA.
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Re: Social Security: Can both spouses collect spousal benefi

Postby The Wizard » Mon Feb 25, 2013 12:58 pm

MN Finance wrote:Yes, but they're divorced so the other spouse doesn't need to file and suspend (you have presumably no control over what your divorced spouse does, so that's not a requirement). The spouse in question can just start spousal benefits when the spouse who's record they're qualifying on attains FRA.

This is what I'll be doing in a cpl yrs.
Ex can't do it since she remarried...
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Re: Social Security: Can both spouses collect spousal benefi

Postby Browser » Mon Feb 25, 2013 1:24 pm

MN Finance wrote:Yes, but they're divorced so the other spouse doesn't need to file and suspend (you have presumably no control over what your divorced spouse does, so that's not a requirement). The spouse in question can just start spousal benefits when the spouse who's record they're qualifying on attains FRA.

I'm not talking about one spouse taking spousal benefits. I'm asking if both can do this at the same time so they can let their own benefit amount grow via deferred retirement credits until age 70. Would be the same whether divorced or married spouses. As I understand it, spousal benefits require that the primary has filed for his/her benefits; and then the primary can suspend. Can Spouse A file and suspend so that Spouse B can collect spousal benefits based on Spouse A's earning record, while Spouse B files and suspends so that Spouse A can collect spousal benefits based on Spouse B's earnings record? Both are collecting spousal benefits and allowing their own benefits to grow.
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Re: Social Security: Can both spouses collect spousal benefi

Postby HueyLD » Mon Feb 25, 2013 2:21 pm

Browser wrote:I'm not talking about one spouse taking spousal benefits. I'm asking if both can do this at the same time so they can let their own benefit amount grow via deferred retirement credits until age 70. Would be the same whether divorced or married spouses. As I understand it, spousal benefits require that the primary has filed for his/her benefits; and then the primary can suspend. Can Spouse A file and suspend so that Spouse B can collect spousal benefits based on Spouse A's earning record, while Spouse B files and suspends so that Spouse A can collect spousal benefits based on Spouse B's earnings record? Both are collecting spousal benefits and allowing their own benefits to grow.

Ssa.gov has the answer to your question. Here it is http://www.ssa.gov/retire2/suspend.htm
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Re: Social Security: Can both spouses collect spousal benefi

Postby MN Finance » Mon Feb 25, 2013 2:38 pm

Browser wrote:
MN Finance wrote:Yes, but they're divorced so the other spouse doesn't need to file and suspend (you have presumably no control over what your divorced spouse does, so that's not a requirement). The spouse in question can just start spousal benefits when the spouse who's record they're qualifying on attains FRA.

I'm not talking about one spouse taking spousal benefits. I'm asking if both can do this at the same time so they can let their own benefit amount grow via deferred retirement credits until age 70. Would be the same whether divorced or married spouses. As I understand it, spousal benefits require that the primary has filed for his/her benefits; and then the primary can suspend. Can Spouse A file and suspend so that Spouse B can collect spousal benefits based on Spouse A's earning record, while Spouse B files and suspends so that Spouse A can collect spousal benefits based on Spouse B's earnings record? Both are collecting spousal benefits and allowing their own benefits to grow.


Well, it doesn't matter if you're talking about 1 spouse or 3 spouses. The rules are the rules. They can take benefits on their ex's record; the ex doesn't need to file and suspend. It's not the same for married spouses.
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Re: Social Security: Can both spouses collect spousal benefi

Postby sscritic » Mon Feb 25, 2013 2:46 pm

My answer to the original question is no. The answers to other questions might be yes and they might be maybe, depending on circumstances.

Note: questions in titles are not the same as questions in the text of the OP. I can only answer one, but not the other.
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Re: Social Security: Can both spouses collect spousal benefi

Postby earlyout » Mon Feb 25, 2013 3:00 pm

Is this what you are trying to ask?

Tom and Jane have the same birthday and both are 65 years old. They were married to each other for 35 years but divorced 5 years ago. Neither has remarried. Both worked full time and they both have estimated Social Security benefits at FRA of $2400 / month. Are you asking if they can both file and suspend when they reach FRA and then each receive a spousal benefit of $1200?

The rules are clear that if you are married, only one of the spouses can claim a spousal benefit. See the reference in HueyLD's post. I couldn't find it but I think this has been discussed before and the answer is consistent -- either Tom or Jane can receive a spousal benefit , not both. IIRC there was alsa a discussion here about which spouse can claim the spousal benefit.
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Re: Social Security: Can both spouses collect spousal benefi

Postby sscritic » Mon Feb 25, 2013 3:04 pm

So if both Tom and Jane have PIAs of $2400 and both file and suspend, how many spousal benefits are payable? Your choices are zero, one, and two (three is not a choice).
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Re: Social Security: Can both spouses collect spousal benefi

Postby jjustice » Mon Feb 25, 2013 3:14 pm

Wasn't MN correct in the first answer? Neither files and suspends. Each makes a limited filing for spousal benefits. They both get spousal benefits, but people who are still married (edit: or now married to someone else) can't do this. Only one person in an ongoing marriage can get spousal benefits. Am I (and MN) wrong?

John
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Re: Social Security: Can both spouses collect spousal benefi

Postby The Wizard » Mon Feb 25, 2013 3:19 pm

jjustice wrote:Wasn't MN correct in the first answer? Neither files and suspends. Each makes a limited filing for spousal benefits. They both get spousal benefits, but people who are still married can't do this. Only one person in an ongoing marriage can get spousal benefits. Am I (and MN) wrong?

John

You're 100% right, John.
We're talking DIVORCED SPOUSES in this thread...
http://www.ssa.gov/retire2/divspouse.htm
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Re: Social Security: Can both spouses collect spousal benefi

Postby sscritic » Mon Feb 25, 2013 3:40 pm

What is the meaning of correct?

If I ask my seven year old granddaughter to tell me what 3 squared is, is she correct if she answers 4 since she knows 2 times 2 is 4?
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Re: Social Security: Can both spouses collect spousal benefi

Postby sls239 » Mon Feb 25, 2013 4:11 pm

For ex-spouses, they won't both be able to do it. The reason is this requirement:

The benefit you are entitled to receive based on your own work is less than the benefit you would receive based on your ex-spouse's work.

http://www.ssa.gov/retire2/divspouse.htm
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Re: Social Security: Can both spouses collect spousal benefi

Postby The Wizard » Mon Feb 25, 2013 4:14 pm

sls239 wrote:For ex-spouses, they won't both be able to do it. The reason is this requirement:

The benefit you are entitled to receive based on your own work is less than the benefit you would receive based on your ex-spouse's work.

http://www.ssa.gov/retire2/divspouse.htm

Sorry, not quite right.
Read down a bit further to the section that starts:

* you have reached full retirement age and you are eligible for a spouse's benefit and your own retirement benefit, you have a choice.
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Re: Social Security: Can both spouses collect spousal benefi

Postby The Wizard » Mon Feb 25, 2013 4:18 pm

sscritic wrote:What is the meaning of correct?

If I ask my seven year old granddaughter to tell me what 3 squared is, is she correct if she answers 4 since she knows 2 times 2 is 4?

Your grand-daughter is a future POLITICIAN if, to the question "What is 3 squared?", she answers: "Two squared is four..."
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Re: Social Security: Can both spouses collect spousal benefi

Postby jjustice » Mon Feb 25, 2013 5:31 pm

sscritic, please stop teasing us! Are you objecting to all the talk about "file and suspend?" To get spousal benefits, you don't file and suspend. But you can do a limited filing for spousal benefits if you have been married and then divorced for the respectively required numbers of years. Nothing says that divorced spouses cannot both do this. Right?
(Edit: My ex-wife has already done this on my advice, but I can't since I am (happily) remarried.)

John
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Re: Social Security: Can both spouses collect spousal benefi

Postby Browser » Mon Feb 25, 2013 6:07 pm

Here are the facts as I know them:

- As a spouse, you can collect a spousal benefit that will provide you 50% of the amount of your spouse’s Social Security benefit as calculated at their full retirement age.

- After you reach full retirement age, you can choose to receive only the spousal benefit, and delay receiving your retirement benefits until a later date, allowing you to receive a higher benefit later based on the effect of delayed retirement credits.

- You cannot collect a spousal benefit until your spouse files for their own benefit.

I see nothing that proscribes both spouses after having reached their FRA from collecting spousal benefits based on the other spouse's PIA, as long as each has filed for their own benefit. Then both can suspend their own benefit to continue accumulating delayed retirement credits until age 70.
If we have data, let’s look at data. If all we have are opinions, let’s go with mine. – Jim Barksdale
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Re: Social Security: Can both spouses collect spousal benefi

Postby earlyout » Mon Feb 25, 2013 6:18 pm

Browser wrote:Here are the facts as I know them:

- As a spouse, you can collect a spousal benefit that will provide you 50% of the amount of your spouse’s Social Security benefit as calculated at their full retirement age.

- After you reach full retirement age, you can choose to receive only the spousal benefit, and delay receiving your retirement benefits until a later date, allowing you to receive a higher benefit later based on the effect of delayed retirement credits.

- You cannot collect a spousal benefit until your spouse files for their own benefit.

I see nothing that proscribes both spouses after having reached their FRA from collecting spousal benefits based on the other spouse's PIA, as long as each has filed for their own benefit. Then both can suspend their own benefit to continue accumulating delayed retirement credits until age 70.

Are you talking about spouses that are still married or spouses that were married to each other for more than 10 years and are now divorced?
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Re: Social Security: Can both spouses collect spousal benefi

Postby Browser » Mon Feb 25, 2013 6:29 pm

I was primarily interested in divorced spouses who had been married at least 10 years, but it seems to me the cross-spousal benefit would apply to either if it applies at all.
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Re: Social Security: Can both spouses collect spousal benefi

Postby sscritic » Mon Feb 25, 2013 6:55 pm

jjustice wrote:sscritic, please stop teasing us! Are you objecting to all the talk about "file and suspend?" To get spousal benefits, you don't file and suspend. But you can do a limited filing for spousal benefits if you have been married and then divorced for the respectively required numbers of years. Nothing says that divorced spouses cannot both do this.

While Siri would answer questions, would Socrates?

Was the original question about file and suspend?

What is this required number of years of which you speak?

Can a divorced person file for spousal benefit before FRA?

Can a divorced person file for spousal benefits if the person on whose record they are claiming is not yet FRA?
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Re: Social Security: Can both spouses collect spousal benefi

Postby HueyLD » Mon Feb 25, 2013 7:05 pm

sscritic wrote:While Siri would answer questions, would Socrates?

Who is Socrates?

(1) He was a classical Greek Athenian philosopher credited as one of the founders of Western philosophy.

(2) He is a modern man who likes to ask a series of questions to encourage fundamental insight into the issue at hand, but not necessarily to answer the questions. :oops:
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Re: Social Security: Can both spouses collect spousal benefi

Postby jjustice » Mon Feb 25, 2013 7:26 pm

I don't know who Siri is, but Socrates did not leave questions unanswered.
Yes, the OP mistakenly spoke of file and suspend.
10 years married and 2 divorced.
Yes, just like any other spouse.
No, that spouse must be FRA.

Now, please enlighten us with your answers to the badly expressed questions with false assumptions. Also tell me if I missed any of the above answers.

John
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Re: Social Security: Can both spouses collect spousal benefi

Postby The Wizard » Mon Feb 25, 2013 7:41 pm

One point has been missed.
At my FRA of 66, I can claim a payment of 50% of my divorced spouse's payment or entitled payment.
This means the ex-spouse must be either age 62 or be receiving SS disability payments if younger than 62.
That's it, simple.
So, if yer ex-spouse is 8 or more years younger and not disabled, this is a moot benefit for you.
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Re: Social Security: Can both spouses collect spousal benefi

Postby sscritic » Mon Feb 25, 2013 7:59 pm

jjustice wrote:I don't know who Siri is, but Socrates did not leave questions unanswered.

Yes, the OP mistakenly spoke of file and suspend.
10 years married and 2 divorced.
Yes, just like any other spouse.
No, that spouse must be FRA.

Now, please enlighten us with your answers to the badly expressed questions with false assumptions. Also tell me if I missed any of the above answers.

Can a question be mistaken? Or is a question not just a question?

Is three out of four a good score (if we ignore both Siri and Socrates and the word mistaken)?

Were would you go to look for somewhat definitive answers? Hint: where did Siri and sscritic go to find definitive answers?
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Re: Social Security: Can both spouses collect spousal benefi

Postby jjustice » Mon Feb 25, 2013 8:10 pm

Yes, 3 out of 4 is pretty good--for me. Wizard had already caught my error on the last question. One who wants to take spousal income while waiting until 70 for his or her own must not start before FRA, but the spouse on whose record one claims doesn't have to be FRA. My fourth answer was wrong.

Yes, a question can be mistaken. You have too narrow a conception of linguistic communication if you think that we do not regularly fill in missing parts of questions and correct for mistaken assumptions. We are not computers--for better and for worse.

I know that you go to the Social Security documents, but that means others don't have to. Most of what we know, or reasonably believe, is based on the uncovering of answers by others. We would be very epistemically impoverished if we all had to find out for ourselves. We save much time and energy by identifying knowledgeable people.

John
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Re: Social Security: Can both spouses collect spousal benefi

Postby MN Finance » Tue Feb 26, 2013 12:38 pm

I'm not a philosopher so I don't follow the theoretical questions. But because they are both divorced and attained FRA, then they can both collect spousal benefits based on each other's records without the other spouse filing and suspending. I had my divorced MIL do this and her ex had not yet started benefits. She is delaying her own, higher benefit. Incidentally, his second ex also did the same thing. If they were married, then yes, the other spouse would have to file and suspend to get the spousal benefits. If they were not at FRA, then they are deemed to take the higher of the two benefit amounts, married or not.
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Re: Social Security: Can both spouses collect spousal benefi

Postby sscritic » Tue Feb 26, 2013 12:49 pm

MN Finance wrote:I'm not a philosopher so I don't follow the theoretical questions.

Is this theoretical?

If "no, but" is correct, is not "yes, but" wrong?

Is that philosophy or logic?

Is logic a branch of philosophy?

If yes, does that make my previous question "mistaken"?

Is "or" always exclusive?
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Re: Social Security: Can both spouses collect spousal benefi

Postby Browser » Tue Feb 26, 2013 12:49 pm

MN Finance wrote:I'm not a philosopher so I don't follow the theoretical questions. But because they are both divorced and attained FRA, then they can both collect spousal benefits based on each other's records without the other spouse filing and suspending. I had my divorced MIL do this and her ex had not yet started benefits. She is delaying her own, higher benefit. Incidentally, his second ex also did the same thing. If they were married, then yes, the other spouse would have to file and suspend to get the spousal benefits. If they were not at FRA, then they are deemed to take the higher of the two benefit amounts, married or not.

So it looks like both spouses can collect spousal benefits based on the other's PIA and defer taking their own benefits until age 70. Only difference for divorced spouses is that they can do it without F&S.
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Re: Social Security: Can both spouses collect spousal benefi

Postby jjustice » Tue Feb 26, 2013 3:36 pm

sscritic wrote:
If "no, but" is correct, is not "yes, but" wrong?


No, not always. I take it that you are thinking about MN's orginal answer to the OP. His "yes, but" appropriately affirmed that the OP can accomplish what he wanted, but not in the manner he specified. Your "no, but" would say that he cannot do exactly as he said, but he can accomplish what he wanted in another way. The answers are equally good.

"Or" is inclusive: you can appropriately answer either "yes, but" or "no, but." You cannot helpfully answer "yes" or "no," since both would be pragmatically misleading.

Browser, to anticipate sscritic, they must do it without F&S.

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Re: Social Security: Can both spouses collect spousal benefi

Postby Crystal Ball » Tue Feb 26, 2013 4:01 pm

It seems that most replies forget that you can't claim spousal benefits unless it is larger than your own benefit.

It is simple enough to go to ssa.gov and type "divorced spouse" into the search box. There is an answer.

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Re: Social Security: Can both spouses collect spousal benefi

Postby Don Christy » Tue Feb 26, 2013 5:29 pm

Crystal Ball wrote:It seems that most replies forget that you can't claim spousal benefits unless it is larger than your own benefit.

It is simple enough to go to ssa.gov and type "divorced spouse" into the search box. There is an answer.

Crystal (apprentice Siri)


I've read the page at SSA.gov and hate to admit that I'm still uncertain of the correct answer. In one case, it would seem the answer is that no both cannot claim spousal, because it's impossible for both to satisfy this requirement:
The benefit that your ex-spouse is entitled to receive based on his or her own work is less than the benefit he or she would receive based on your work;


But if you read further, it says (emphasis added):
your divorced spouse has reached full retirement age and is eligible for a spouse's benefit and his or her own retirement benefit, he or she has a choice.

Your divorced spouse can choose to receive only the divorced spouse's benefits when he or she applies online and delay receiving retirement benefits until a later date. If retirement benefits are delayed, a higher benefit may be received at a later date based on the effect of delayed retirement credits.


Is one "eligible" if one doesn't satisfy the earlier constraint of the spousal benefit being larger?

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Re: Social Security: Can both spouses collect spousal benefi

Postby sscritic » Tue Feb 26, 2013 5:32 pm

There may be many roads to Dublin, but not every road goes to Dublin. There is a difference between what you can do, what you must do, and what you can't do.

The original question was
Can

The first answer was
doesn't need to

This response was repeated at a later point.

I don't see that anyone has answered the question about Tom and Jane who, while not needing to, did in fact both file and suspend.
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Re: Social Security: Can both spouses collect spousal benefi

Postby sscritic » Tue Feb 26, 2013 5:34 pm

What if only one of them files and suspends? I believe that if someone can answer this question and the previous question about Tom and Jane it will clear up a lot of the confusion.
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Re: Social Security: Can both spouses collect spousal benefi

Postby Penguin » Tue Feb 26, 2013 5:49 pm

earlyout wrote:Is this what you are trying to ask?

Tom and Jane have the same birthday and both are 65 years old. They were married to each other for 35 years but divorced 5 years ago. Neither has remarried. Both worked full time and they both have estimated Social Security benefits at FRA of $2400 / month. Are you asking if they can both file and suspend when they reach FRA and then each receive a spousal benefit of $1200?

The rules are clear that if you are married, only one of the spouses can claim a spousal benefit. See the reference in HueyLD's post. I couldn't find it but I think this has been discussed before and the answer is consistent -- either Tom or Jane can receive a spousal benefit , not both. IIRC there was alsa a discussion here about which spouse can claim the spousal benefit.

sscritic wrote:So if both Tom and Jane have PIAs of $2400 and both file and suspend, how many spousal benefits are payable? Your choices are zero, one, and two (three is not a choice).

The answer is zero spousal benefits are payable. If you file and suspend then you are entitled to your own benefit even if you are not collecting it.
1. Divorced spouse

To be entitled to benefits as a divorced spouse, a claimant must:
be the divorced spouse (see RS 00202.005A) of an NH entitled to a RIB or DIB (unless the NH is only transitionally insured - see RS 00202.015A.2.);
file an application for benefits (see SM 03020.040 for when the system converts a spouse who is full retirement age and who was married to the NH for at least 10 years to benefits as a divorced spouse, and see GN 00201.005 for when an application is required for Title II re-entitlement to benefits);
be age 62;
not be married; and
not be entitled to an RIB or DIB based on a PIA which equals or exceeds one-half the PIA of the worker.

A PIA of $2400 is more than one-half of $2400.
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Re: Social Security: Can both spouses collect spousal benefi

Postby jjustice » Tue Feb 26, 2013 5:50 pm

OK, I'll give it a shot. If Tom and Jane both file and suspend, neither gets anything until he or she "unsuspends." If one files and suspends, the other can claim spousal benefits, and, being FRA, can wait until 70 to claim his or her own.
But, if both divorcees file (at FRA) for spousal benefits only, i.e. a limited filing, they both can get spousal benefits until they claim their own.
Did I score 100%?
John
Edit after seeing Penguin's post: I'm not sure what was intended by Penguin's second part, but I don't believe that one who makes a limited filing for spousal benefits becomes entitled to his or her own benefit.
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Re: Social Security: Can both spouses collect spousal benefi

Postby sscritic » Tue Feb 26, 2013 6:02 pm

Maybe. The other Jon gave the reason. If you file, you are entitled. It doesn't matter if you collect or not (suspend). The only issue is your PIA vs 1/2 the PIA of your spouse. Note that marital status is irrelevant: both married and divorced couples fall under the rule that to collect as a spouse you cannot be entitled to your own benefit based on a PIA that is 1/2 or more of the PIA of the worker against whom you are claiming.

Now can someone who files and suspends still claim a spousal benefit? You said
If one files and suspends, the other can claim spousal benefits

but you didn't cover the f&Ser filing as a spouse. That's why I am withholding my 100% for now. I also didn't know if you were speaking specifically about Tom and Jane or more generally.
Edit: seeing your edit, I may have to lower your grade. Entitlement is exactly the issue for file and suspend, the topic that everyone keeps trying to get away from.
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Re: Social Security: Can both spouses collect spousal benefi

Postby jjustice » Tue Feb 26, 2013 6:06 pm

No, one who files and suspends is not eligible for a spousal benefit.

Again, as I see it, the key is that neither files (is entitled)--in any way--for his or her own benefit. Then both can be spouses. Right?

John
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Re: Social Security: Can both spouses collect spousal benefi

Postby sscritic » Tue Feb 26, 2013 6:09 pm

Do Tom and Jane again, but let Tom have a PIA of $400 and let Jane have a PIA of $2400. Do it three ways: T F&S, J F&S, both F&S.
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Re: Social Security: Can both spouses collect spousal benefi

Postby jjustice » Tue Feb 26, 2013 6:13 pm

I must be wrong somehow. I don't see how the PIAs are relevant. I thought that so long as a divorcee filed at FRA for spousal benefit only he or she could wait until 70 to file for his or her own. This is not correct?

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Re: Social Security: Can both spouses collect spousal benefi

Postby sscritic » Tue Feb 26, 2013 6:16 pm

Yes, one road leads to Dublin, but does the other? Keep thinking about file and suspend, the basis of the original question.
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Re: Social Security: Can both spouses collect spousal benefi

Postby MN Finance » Tue Feb 26, 2013 6:19 pm

I know I'm new here and I clearly don't work at the SSA, like maybe SS critic does, but I clearly don't understand what this has devolved to. Seems that the answer could be found in just a handful of posts, and clearly just one post if SS critic, I presume the expert by him administering some sort of test to the group, would anser the question directly. I helped my MIL do this, so I certainly know what's possible
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Re: Social Security: Can both spouses collect spousal benefi

Postby rr2 » Tue Feb 26, 2013 6:45 pm

http://www.investmentnews.com/article/2 ... 308129988#

The article discussed SS benefits for currently married spouses. From the linked article:
Bottom line: Husbands and wives can't each claim a spousal benefit, but both can maximize their benefits by waiting until 66 — what I like to call the “magic age” — to elect a claiming strategy.

One can file and suspend. The other can restrict the claim to spousal benefits only.

And both can earn delayed retirement credits to maximize their benefits.
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Re: Social Security: Can both spouses collect spousal benefi

Postby mickeyd » Tue Feb 26, 2013 7:10 pm

Social Security: Can both spouses collect spousal benefits?


I am currently collecting my spouse benefit. When I turn 70 in a couple of years, DW will begin collecting her spouse benefit at the same time that I cancel my spouse benefit and become the main person (or whatever it's called). Sounds complex, but it's actually easy.
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Re: Social Security: Can both spouses collect spousal benefi

Postby The Wizard » Tue Feb 26, 2013 7:47 pm

MN Finance wrote:I know I'm new here and I clearly don't work at the SSA, like maybe SS critic does, but I clearly don't understand what this has devolved to. Seems that the answer could be found in just a handful of posts, and clearly just one post if SS critic, I presume the expert by him administering some sort of test to the group, would anser the question directly. I helped my MIL do this, so I certainly know what's possible

Yes, but sscritic is in his cryptic mode right now.
We'll just have to wait till the full moon dissipates completely...
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Re: Social Security: Can both spouses collect spousal benefi

Postby jjustice » Wed Feb 27, 2013 10:20 am

Until the full moon dissipates, I'm baffled by sscritic's persisting questions about file and suspend. The OP wanted to know if it was possible for two mutually divorced and unremarried persons to get spousal benfits from FRA until 70. Yes. Some of us, including me, on this thread have ex-spouses who are receiving spousal benefits while waiting to claim their own, and I think that I could have also done the same if I had not remarried. Surely it isn't first come, first served.

The file and suspend issue seems to be just a red herring. You don't get spousal benefits by filing and suspending. You get them by either filing for your own, or--as in the present case--by making a limited filing for spousal benefits at or after FRA.

When the moon clears, I may find that I'm confused about something.

John
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Re: Social Security: Can both spouses collect spousal benefi

Postby MN Finance » Wed Feb 27, 2013 10:25 am

jjustice wrote:Until the full moon dissipates, I'm baffled by sscritic's persisting questions about file and suspend. The OP wanted to know if it was possible for two mutually divorced and unremarried persons to get spousal benfits from FRA until 70. Yes. Some of us, including me, on this thread have ex-spouses who are receiving spousal benefits while waiting to claim their own, and I think that I could have also done the same if I had not remarried. Surely it isn't first come, first served.

The file and suspend issue seems to be just a red herring. You don't get spousal benefits by filing and suspending. You get them by either filing for your own, or--as in the present case--by making a limited filing for spousal benefits at or after FRA.

When the moon clears, I may find that I'm confused about something.

John


I sat with my MIL in the SS office and accomplished the same. Clearly terminology may be off for those of us not dealing with SS daily, but the concept is the same.
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Re: Social Security: Can both spouses collect spousal benefi

Postby sscritic » Wed Feb 27, 2013 10:31 am

jjustice wrote:Until the full moon dissipates, I'm baffled by sscritic's persisting questions about file and suspend. The OP wanted to know if it was possible for two mutually divorced and unremarried persons to get spousal benfits from FRA until 70.

I read the OP differently than you do.
Can both file and suspend in order

I didn't miss these words. They were front and center. I try to read the question asked before I answer. The question was definitely about file and suspend in my mind.

P.S. The answer to the question asked is no.
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Re: Social Security: Can both spouses collect spousal benefi

Postby sscritic » Wed Feb 27, 2013 10:44 am

More about making stuff up. Read the question again. Read the very first response again. Is it correct as written? (I am not talking about the obvious erroneous reference to FRA.)

I try to read what is written, not what isn't.
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Re: Social Security: Can both spouses collect spousal benefi

Postby sscritic » Wed Feb 27, 2013 10:47 am

MN Finance wrote:I sat with my MIL in the SS office and accomplished the same.

Was the ex there as well? The question was about both. Did you really accomplish it all or only one-half of what was requested?
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Re: Social Security: Can both spouses collect spousal benefi

Postby jjustice » Wed Feb 27, 2013 11:30 am

OK, you're right: the answer to the OP is "No" and MN shouldn't have said "Yes."
Now I have a question for you, sscriic: Is there any way for mutually divorced and unremarried spouses both to get spousal benefits between FRA and age 70? If so, how?
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