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Spousal and Survivor Benefits…It’s Complicated, Folks!

As we note frequently on this site, the AMAC Foundation operates a free Social Security Advisory Service…a service that since its launch in 2016 has counseled nearly 18,000 American’s in how to apply the program’s considerable complexities to their individual circumstances. Statistically, the most frequent request we handle is the disarmingly simple question of “When should I file for benefits,” but close on the heels of this query is the range of questions dealing with spousal benefits and survivor issues. Strategies come into play here, as explained by “It’s Your Money” columnist Jane Young in a post on The Gazette (Colorado Springs). Ms. Young provides some advice on these strategies, focusing on the timing of your available filing options. Read her post here…

If you have specific questions about your own situations, know that the AMAC Foundation’s Social Security Advisory Service is available to help you. Just give us a call or send us an email and we’ll help you navigate the processes. There is no charge for this service.

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Comments On This Topic

  1. I am commenting/questioning the topic/article on “Spousal and Survivor Benefits…It’s Complicated, Folks!”
    It is complicated and quite frustrating. I have seen the hardship people can go through because of the rules of this. Myself and my spouse work hard and would like to retire comfortable. We work for the BOTH of us, so her earnings and mine provide our living, so in my opinion, SO SHOULD OUR RETIREMENT BENEFITS. One of us should not be penalized for becoming a “survivor”. I dont understand why “survivors” do not get the FULL benefit payments of BOTH. ie.. should something happen to me, my wife should still be able to draw her full benefits as well as continue to draw mine, NOT just a supplemental to add to hers that would equal mine. We BOTH worked for it, and just because one spouse outlives another, doesn’t mean it dont continue to take the full benefits of both combined to “pay the bills” Where does AMAC stand on fighting this battle?

    • James:

      Thank you for your comments. The survivor benefit provisions are presently embedded in Social Security’s rules, and are for now a fact of life. AMAC has for some years been engaged in advocating a variety of reform measures for Social Security, one of which addresses improvements to survivor benefits. You can see this recommendation in the current draft of AMAC’s Social Security Guarantee proposal (see, item 3). We are hopeful that activity in the 117th Congress will move toward Social Security reform, and will include your remarks in our notes for discussion when negotiations take place.

      Gerry Hafer
      AMAC Foundation, Inc.

      CONFIDENTIALITY NOTICE: The contents of this message, including any attachments, are confidential and are intended solely for the use of the person or entity to whom the message was addressed. If you are not the intended recipient of this message, please be advised that any dissemination, distribution, forwarding, printing, copying, or use of the contents of this message, and any attached documentation, is strictly prohibited. If you received this message in error, please notify the sender. Please also permanently delete all copies of the original message and any attached documentation. The opinions and interpretations expressed in this message are the viewpoints of the message’s author, a trained advisor accredited under the National Social Security Advisors program of the National Social Security Association, LLC (NSSA). The author, the NSSA, and the AMAC Foundation are not affiliated with or endorsed by the United States Government, the Social Security Administration, or any other state government.

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