Q & A

Why does my spouse’s Social Security Statement show an estimated benefit less than what it would be as a survivor’s benefit?

Full Question: I always thought that my surviving spouse would get an amount equal to my Social Security amount when they reach full retirement age unless their own Social Security is larger. Recently I pulled a statement from the Social Security website for myself. This statement is showing a lower amount for a surviving spouse. Why is that? I am beyond my full retirement age (66) and have not yet filed for Social Security. It almost appears that the survivor benefit froze at my full retirement and did not continue to grow like my benefit.

Answer: The statement will show the basic survivor benefit as your retirement benefit at your FRA until you file. Once you file, her widow’s benefit will be what you were receiving.

SourceDan Moisand – MarketWatch – July 11, 2014

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