Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Divorce and Division of Social Security Benefits

Social Security benefits are not divisible in divorce. If you were in a marriage that lasted ten or more years, you may want to consider whether you can benefit from receiving Social Security spousal benefits. You may apply to the Social Security Administration for spousal benefits when you turn 62. You are responsible for applying for the benefit, as no action will automatically be taken on your behalf.

Benefits taken before full retirement age are reduced. The spousal benefit will be roughly 50% of the higher wage earner’s benefit.  If your own actual earned benefit is greater than the benefit of your former spouse, only that will be paid. 

Spousal benefits are available regardless whether the other spouse is receiving Social Security payments. Receiving a Social Security spousal benefit does not decrease any other pension that you may be receive. Social Security spousal benefits will be reduced by any applicable earnings limit for current employment. 

You can learn more about Social Security spousal benefits by contacting the Social Security Administration:

This post does not constitute legal advice. Social Security guidelines change and the accuracy of this post or how you should plan your own retirement strategy should be discussed with your attorney, financial planner or Social Security Administration counselor.