Q. I am a FERS employee who was born in 1955; my spouse (who doesn’t work for the government) was born in 1950. My projected benefit is $1,500 while her is only $350. Does she have to wait until I start collecting at 62 if she wants to receive the higher spousal benefit?
A. Yes, she has to wait until you have applied for a Social Security benefit before being eligible to receive a spousal benefit. The spousal benefit depends on the amount of your benefit and her age when she begins collecting it. For more information and a handy benefit calculator, go to www.socialsecurity.gov/OACT/quickcalc/spouse.html.