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Was married to ex spouse for 16 years and that was 23 years ago. I am now almost 66 years old and have applied for ex spouse half payment for social security

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Last Update : 08-24-2010 

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Social Security Question:

I am 56 and currently retired from a california county government. I have paid into social security throughout my employment

Social Security Answer:

I am 56 and currently retired from a california county government. I have paid into social security throughout my employment. I currently receive a monthly retirement benefit of $6600. At age 62, I qualify for a month $1603 social security benefit. My wife will retire from California State service in 16 months at age 55. She is not currently paying into social security and over her life time she has accummulated 38 credits of work earning (taxed Social Security earnings) of $397,131. At retirement she will receive a monthly Cal State benefit of approximatley $4000. Considering the Windfall Elimination Provision of social security, will it benefit her to complete here 40 credits of work? What would be her Social Security benefit at age 62 if she completes her 40 quarters?


Support Replied ~ 08-24-2010 21:15:15

Dear Jim: Your wife's benefit would be very little even if she did get her other 2 quarters. Maybe enough to pay Medicare B. Around $100 or so. Considering the $10000 or more that you are getting from the other pensions, I wouldn't bother. I coming out to live with you!!!! Carol
Your Comment ~ 08-24-2010 21:30:05

Thank you for your response. I knew the amount was going to be low, but not as low as $100 per month Social Security benefit. What I was looking for is manner that you calculated her benefit. I would assume the lowest dollar amount she needs to earn to complete her 40 quarters. And if you're coming to live with us, I hope you don't mind our kitty, Lily. I would really appreciate the way this is calculated, and in a manner that is easily understood. This is important to me. Thanks.


Support Replied ~ 08-26-2010 13:56:25

Dear Jim: I love animals. But seriouxly, I do not have the program to give you the exact amount. SS uses your highest 35 years to determine your benefit amount It is a four page formula. If you do not have 35 years of FICA earnings, then they use 0's. Also, each yyear of earnings is put into today's earnings (called indexing). Because she has another pension, her benefit is reduced 60% at one point. If she contacts your local Social Security office and asks them to give an age 62 estimate putting in $3000 (whats needed for two quarters) for 2010 they should be able to give her a very good WEP estimate. Sorry I couldn't be of more help. Let me know how close I was to what her amount would be.......Carol

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DISCLAIMER - You should consult with your local Social Security Office before acting upon any information received as a response to your question on "Social Security Advisor".

"Social Security Advisor" is intended to provide accurate and authoritative information with regard to the subject matter covered. It is offered with the understanding that neither the publisher nor the author is engaged in rendering legal, accounting, investment or other professional advice or services.

Information obtained from RetirementCommunity.com, including e-mail responses from "Social Security Advisor" should be considered as general educational information. You must never rely upon the advice given here. Your individual situation may not fit the generalizations discussed. Only your local Social Security office can evaluate your individual situation and give you advice.


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In the news: Read Carols comments in this BankRate.com Social Security article


Thank you so much. The amount of infomation you provided on our call went a long way in helping to resolve the issues I had with the social security rep I was working with.
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