Monday, March 21, 2011

Delayed Retirement Credits Not For Wife Or Child

Bill from Missouri writes:
Thank you for making your book "Social Security Benefits Handbook" available on the internet. It is the clearest and most helpful resource I have found. I have a question.
I am 61 years old. When I file for Social Security benefits sometime between age 62 and 70 my wife and disabled child will become eligible for payments equal to 1/2 of my monthly benefit. If I then exercise my option to either suspend my payments, or invest them and return them to the Social Security Administration at age 70, thus making my payment go up by 32%, will my wife's and my child's payments also go up by 32%, or will their payment amounts always be based on my benefit back at the time I originally applied?
Thank you for your help.

ANSWER: Thank you for your very kind compliment. I wish I could have better news for you, but no, the Delayed Retirement Credits are not applied to your wife's or child's benefits. The amount of your increased retirement benefit however will be used to figure a widow's benefit if you should predecease your wife. And by the way, if you take benefits before 70 and then withdraw the application and pay them back to get the 32% increase, you would also have to pay back the wife and child benefits paid on your account, which makes that a less desirable option.

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