Social Security Q&A: Spousal benefits

Social Security Q&A: You may be entitled to as much as half of your spouse's benefit amount when you reach full retirement age.
Published: July 7, 2013
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If you want to get Social Security retirement benefits before you reach full retirement age, the amount of your benefit is reduced. The amount of reduction depends on when you will reach full retirement age.

For example, if your full retirement age is 66, you can get 35 percent of your spouse's unreduced benefit at age 62 (a permanent reduction); if your full retirement age is 67, you can get 32.5 percent of your spouse's unreduced benefit at age 62 (a permanent reduction).

The amount of your benefit increases if your entitlement begins at a later age, up to the maximum of 50 percent at full retirement age.

However, if you are taking care of a child who is under age 16 or who gets Social Security disability benefits on your spouse's record, you get the full spouse's benefits, regardless of your age.

Learn more about retirement benefits at www.socialsecurity.gov/retirement.

This column was prepared by the Social Security Administration. For fast answers to specific Social Security questions, call Social Security toll-free at (800) 772-1213.

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