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Old 02-10-2017, 12:03 PM
 
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I tried posting this question in another thread, but that must have been a faux pas because I received no response, so I'm trying again in a new thread:

What happens if a spouse or ex-spouse, who has a good earning record (let's say more than 35 years of maximum SS contributions) dies before reaching age 62 and collecting any benefit at all?

When the unmarried survivor reaches 62 or even FRA, what, if any, kind of benefit can he or she claim on the ex-spouse's earning record? I worry because a lot can happen to a person, healthwise, between the ages of 57 and 67.
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Old 02-10-2017, 12:07 PM
 
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If a husband dies before filing for benefits, no matter his age, when the surviving spouse attains her full retirement age, she should qualify for 100 percent of the survivors benefit or her own benefit, whichever is greater.

Where the surviving spouse has not yet reached full retirement age, he or she can begin to collect benefits at as early as age 60 and even as early as age 50 if disabled. However, the benefit is reduced by a small percentage for each month until the surviving spouse reaches full retirement age. This may result in a significant reduction in the monthly survivor's benefit.

it apply's to ex's too .
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Old 02-10-2017, 12:07 PM
 
Location: Grove City, Ohio
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I believe she receives benefits exactly to what he would have had if he had lived. His account becomes her account.
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Old 02-10-2017, 03:21 PM
 
Location: OH>IL>CO>CT
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While the above responses are correct, if you want to read how SSA explains Survivor's benefits, you can go to this SSA webpage.

https://www.ssa.gov/planners/survivors/onyourown2.html
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Old 02-10-2017, 03:22 PM
 
Location: Northern panhandle WV
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nicet4 View Post
I believe she receives benefits exactly to what he would have had if he had lived. His account becomes her account.
she does receive what he would have received had he been collecting minus any reductions for her age at filing. HOWEVER His account does not become hers.
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Old 02-10-2017, 04:37 PM
 
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a popular option is to collect your own early benefit if it is less and then switch to survivor at fra . while spousal benefits do not add anything after full retirement age ,survivor benefits will collect credits for up to age 70 . that is a big plus for delaying ss as the higher paid benefit .
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Old 02-11-2017, 04:01 AM
 
Location: R.I.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by josie13 View Post
I tried posting this question in another thread, but that must have been a faux pas because I received no response, so I'm trying again in a new thread:

What happens if a spouse or ex-spouse, who has a good earning record (let's say more than 35 years of maximum SS contributions) dies before reaching age 62 and collecting any benefit at all?

When the unmarried survivor reaches 62 or even FRA, what, if any, kind of benefit can he or she claim on the ex-spouse's earning record? I worry because a lot can happen to a person, healthwise, between the ages of 57 and 67.
My husband died at age 49 in 2001, he did not earn max benefits but did have a 35 year SS contribution history.

You as the surviving spouse or ex spouse that did not remarry prior to age 60 are eligible to collect a reduced survivor's benefit as early as age 60, and the full amount of what the deceased spouse would have received at their FRA at your own FRA. So for example, Social Security projected my late husband had he lived to and worked to his FRA and began collecting his benefit at that time it would been $1,451/month which is the amount I can collect at my FRA. If I opted to collect a reduced benefit when I turn age 60 which is tomorrow , the monthly amount I would receive would be $1,041. Each month I delay collecting my survivor's benefit to my FRA is grows by about $5-$6 a month until it reaches $1,451 at my FRA. Unlike your own benefit which by delaying it beyond your FRA grows by 8% annually and maxes out at age 70, a survivor benefit only grows after your FRA by COLAS.

With your ex husband still alive it is very hard to predict the future. If he lives to age 63, but started collecting a reduced benefit at age 62, that would be the highest amount you would receive collecting on his benefit. But depending on what you are projected to collect, your FRA benefit may be equal to your ex husband's age 62 benefit which would allow you to collect that benefit first at your FRA, then defer your own to age 70 to collect the higher benefit.
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Old 02-11-2017, 04:28 AM
 
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actually survivor benefits are a bit more complex than spousal benefits would be . unlike spousal benefits survivor benefits have two moving targets .

the first is what your spouse got if you yourself are fra . if your spouse filed early than you get a reduced benefit too based on what he got . that is simple .

but if you are under fra yourself than there are 2 moving targets .

the first part is you get what your spouse got and if they filed early you would be cut a 2nd time if you were filing for survivor benefits early ..

that could be a nasty 48% cut from his full benefit .

so a 2nd system of floors is put in place to avoid to drastic of a cut .

if a woman files pre fra she gets which ever is higher as an example , what her husband got less a 2nd cut for her filing early or a floor based on her husbands full benefit and a multiplier .

if she filed at 60 she gets her husbands full x.,71 regardless if her husband filed early or not .

at 62 she gets her husbands full x.81. there is a different multiplier for every year she files under her own fra .

Last edited by mathjak107; 02-11-2017 at 04:37 AM..
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Old 11-06-2017, 07:50 AM
 
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survivor benefits can be so confusing but i found a very good explanation the other day so i think i finally have it clear in my head .

the 3 factors are the age of the deceased at time of death , the age of the survivor when they take survivor and whether the deceased was already collecting a benefit .

so a spouse can die at 62 who did not file yet , and if the surviving spouse waits 4 years to file for survivor ,they would get the fra amount as a base , they would get that amount providing they were fra themselves or there is a reduction off that amount .

nothing pertains to whether the surviving spouse took their retirement benefits yet or not .

if the deceased spouse was not collecting yet than their age for ss purposes is calculated as their age they would have been when the survivor files for survivor benefits , like my example above .

other wise their benefit is what it is for purposes of calculations .

if the surviving spouse is less than fra there is a reduction formula off what their benefit would be .

so you take the deceased spouses benefit and for those who have an fra of 66 apply the following reduction :

at 60 it less another 28.50%
61 less 23.7
62 less 19%
63 less 14.2
64 less 9.50
65 less 4.7
66 less zero .

however , if the deceased spouse filed early at 62 , and the survivor filed for survivor benefits at 60 you can see that double cut can be pretty nasty . so there is what is called the widow's floor put in place .

that is a back up formula to keep the surviving spouse from getting hit to hard with double cuts .

If your deceased spouse had already begun benefits...

and had begun benefits before they reached their FRA, then you as the*surviving spouse are*entitled to the larger of what your*deceased spouse was getting, or 82.5% of their PIA amount, (this is the amount they would have received had they begun benefits at their FRA).

This benefit amount is subject to a reduction if you have not yet reached your*FRA. (82.5% of their PIA will be more than what they would have gotten if they began benefits at age 62, so this rule is in place to protect a surviving spouse from a permanently lower income if their other half began benefits at age 62.)


https://www.thebalance.com/social-se...dowers-2388284

Last edited by mathjak107; 11-06-2017 at 07:59 AM..
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Old 11-06-2017, 08:13 AM
 
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one thing i see from the math is that ss throws you a curve ball . the survivor benefit with the floor is the same at age 60 as it is at age 62 without the floor .

there is nothing to be gained by taking survivor at 62 vs 60 since the widow floor already boosts you to 62 .all you do is give up checks . pretty shrewd here ss , unless you are delaying survivor longer than 62 there is zero gain and all you do is give up 2 years in checks . nice ss ! .

after 62 the floor really does not come in to play at all since the reduction is less so waiting until your fra grows what you get .

it is as if social security said if you take ss at 62 we will give you the higher of your reduced rate or your 64 rate as a floor , but if you delay longer we will increase you from that point . . if you wait until 64 and go no further you get nothing extra and just gave up 2 years checks .

same deal here with survivor and 60 vs 62 .

Last edited by mathjak107; 11-06-2017 at 08:43 AM..
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