Tampa, FL (Law Firm Newswire) June 7, 2013 - Though not widely known, there are different types of Social Security retirement benefits available to married couples and previously married couples.
Social Security benefits are available to a nonworking spouse when both individuals have reached retirement age, but the higher earner continues to work and delay their collection of benefits. The nonworking spouse typically is entitled to as much as 50 percent of the working spouse's benefits. However, the working spouse must file for the benefit, then consider suspending those benefits in order to maximize the eventual amount by receiving them later. This can also minimize the amount of taxable income in the household.
"If the couple wants to maximize eventual benefits and minimize taxable income, the working spouse can choose to 'file and suspend' benefits, which would allow the nonworking spouse to receive them," stated Tampa social security and disability attorney David W. Magann.
For example, a working wife may file for her benefits at her full retirement age, and her spouse, who has either no earning history or minimal earning history, may file for his spousal benefits. The wife can request to file, with an immediate request to suspend her benefits. This way, her husband can receive his spousal benefits. Then, when the wife reaches age 70, the monthly amount will be larger, and she can claim her benefits.
For some couples, choosing to file in order to activate spousal benefits, while also delaying their own benefits by suspending them, can work to their advantage. Typically, delayed retirement benefits will increase by 8 percent every year they are delayed, from the normal retirement age and up to the age of 70. After age 70, there is no additional increase, so waiting even longer will not provide any additional amount.
Spousal benefits are also available to individuals who are divorced, if they were married for at least 10 years. If a couple has been divorced for at least two years, one party may claim their spousal benefits from the other's earning history and not be required to file their own.
David W. Magann, P.A.
156 W. Robertson St.
Brandon, FL 33511
Call: (813) 657-9175
6107 Memorial Hwy
Tampa, Florida 33615
South Tampa Office:
Bank of Tampa Building
601 Bayshore Blvd Ste 105
Tampa, FL 33606