Social Security spousal benefit


Q. My wife is five years older than me. If I draw early Social Security at 62 (she’ll be 67), and she waits until then to draw hers, will she be eligible for the spousal benefit where she receives half of my amount because her full benefit is less than half, or do we have to wait until I’m full retirement age for her to receive it?

A. No, you don’t have to wait. She will receive the larger of the two benefits: her own earned benefit or the spousal benefit based on your record.


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Reg Jones was head of retirement and insurance policy at the Office of Personnel Management. Email your retirement-related questions to

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