Social security benefits by virtue of marriage are an endless source of confusion and are also too often a well-kept secret, or so it may seem. So it bears repeating some key points.
- There is no requirement that the recipient satisfy Social Security’s work credit requirements to collect spousal social security benefits.
- Spousal benefits are calculated as though the worker-spouse continued working long enough to max out their social security benefits – even if the worker-spouse didn’t.
- Spouses seeking spousal benefits should apply as soon as they reach full retirement age. Their benefits will not increase by waiting longer.
- Federal employees who receive government pensions don’t pay into the Social Security system and their social security benefits are reduced, possibly to nothing. The same is true for spousal benefits.
- If a couple has been married for at least ten years, they are eligible for spousal social security benefit – even if the worker spouse has remarried.
Read more in this Motley Fool article: Social Security Spousal Benefits: 5 Shocking Facts You Should Know .