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US Government Information/file and suspend while drawing on spouses social security record


QUESTION: I thought originally I could file and suspend at 66 and file on my ex wifes record but I just read that hers had to be higher than mine. could you explain and set me straight?..thanks.

ANSWER: Gerald,

You have 4 choices at full retirement age:
1)do nothing
2)file and receive retirement
3)file and suspend retirement
4)file for a 50% divorced spouse benefit

The amount of your PIA is material only if you file for retirement benefits. if you file for benefits and you restrict the application to be an application for divorced spouse benefits only, the amount of your PIA is not material. You can receive the divorced spouse benefit until you file for retirement benefits. While receiving the divorced spouse benefit, your retirement benefit will increase by two-thirds of one percent for each month you are not paid a retirement benefit from full retirement age up to age 70.

If you file for retirement and suspend the benefit and also file for divorced spouse benefit, then the divorced spouse benefit is reduced by the retirement benefit you could be receiving. It is very important that you restrict the application to divorced spouse benefits. There is a question on the Internet application that asks, If you can receive retirement and spouse benefits, do you want to delay retirement?  This is answered yes and you should pick the months you reach full retirement age to begin benefits.

A hope this clears this up for you

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: I think it my retirement will be building up approximately eight percent per year til age seventy?..right?..and I will be drawing fifty percent of my ex spouses social security amount?..right?...the only downside I see is not being able to build a safety net of benefits(as would happen if I file and suspend) am I correct in my assumptions?..and I really appreciate your answering my questions...thanks...

Your understanding is correct. If you choose to file an application restricting benefits to a spouse benefit, and change your mind, Social Security will allow you to request up to six months of retirement back pay. They will deduct the incorrect spouse benefit paid for that six month period.  

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Darlene Oldendick


Social Security retirement planning and all questions about Social Security eligibility and entitlement.


Worked for the Social Security Administration for 33 years


33 years employment with the Social Security Administration

Awards and Honors
Many outstanding performance awards while employed at the Social Security Administration

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