Ask the Experts!
The professionals at Advanced Underwriting Consultants (AUC) answer the tax and technical questions posed by producers. Here’s the question of the day.
Question: My client divorced her husband after their 20 year marriage. She is 63, and is wondering whether she can qualify for spousal retirement benefits. If she applies, what effect will it have on benefits payable under her own work record?
Answer: A divorced spouse (ex-wife) can receive Social Security retirement benefits based on her ex-spouse’s work record if the divorced spouse himself (ex-husband) is eligible for benefits:
If the client in younger than full retirement age, if she applies for spousal benefits it will also lock her into early retirement benefits based on her own record.
On the other hand, if the ex-wife is full retirement age (age 66 or older, based on today’s rules), she can choose to apply for only spousal benefits. She can switch to her own benefit later on.
Have a question for the professionals at AUC? Feel welcome to submit it by email. We may post your question and the answer as the question of the day.