Confused about spousal benefits? - CNBC

One of the most misunderstood Social Security benefits is the spousal benefit. The spousal benefit can be as much as half of the worker’s “full retirement-age” amount” However, if the spouse begins receiving benefits before “normal (or full) retirement age,” the spouse will receive a reduced benefit and if a spouse is eligible for a retirement benefit based on his or her own work record, and if that benefit is higher than the spousal benefit, then Social Security will pay the retirement benefit only. Then the government added to the confusion by enacting The Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015 that changed the rules for those individuals born after January 1, 1954. The act extends the deemed filing rules, which means that when you file for either your retirement or your spouse’s benefit, you are required or “deemed” to file for the other benefit as well. Still confused, in Sarah O’Brien’s article appearing on she explains how claiming your Social Security benefits early can impact your spousal benefits.

Read Ms. O’Brien’s article here and, if you still have questions on spousal benefits, don’t hesitate to contact the AMAC Foundation’s Social Security Advisory Service at 888-750-2622 (or via email at with your questions.

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