5 Things Every Woman Should Know About Social Security

Transcript

1 5 Things Every Woman Should Know About Social Security has helped secure today and For more than 80 years, Social Security tomorrow by providing benefits and financial protection for millions of people throughout their life’s journey. Here are the five most important things every woman should know about Social Security. If you also get a pension from a job • 1. Nothing keeps you from getting where you didn’t pay Social Security your own Social Security benefit taxes (e.g., a civil service or teacher’s If you’ve worked and paid taxes into the • pension), your Social Security benefit Social Security system for at least 10 might be reduced. years and have earned a minimum of 40 work credits, you may be eligible for 2. There is no marriage penalty your own benefits. • Once you reach age 62, you may be or limit to benefits paid a eligible for your own Social Security married couple benefit whether you’re married or not • If you are married and you and your and whether your spouse collects spouse have worked and earned Social Security or not. enough credits individually, you will We figure everyone’s retirement • each get your own Social Security benefit the same way. It’s based on a benefit. percentage of your average monthly • A working woman is not limited to one- wage using a 35-year base of earnings. half of her spouse’s Social Security. If you don’t have 35 years of earnings, (That rate applies to women who never we must substitute “zero” years to worked outside the home.) reach the 35-year base. • So, for example, if you are due a If you become disabled before your full • Social Security benefit of $1,200 per retirement age, you might qualify for month and your spouse is due a Social Social Security disability benefits, if you Security benefit of $1,400 per month, worked and paid Social Security taxes the two of you will get $2,600 per month in five of the last 10 years. in retirement benefits. (over) SocialSecurity.gov 5 Things Every Woman Should Know About Social Security

2 SocialSecurity.gov • Any benefits paid to a divorced spouse 3. If you’re due two benefits, you DO NOT reduce payments made to get the one that pays the higher the ex or any payments due the ex’s current spouse. rate, not both • Generally, the same payment rules • As a spouse, you are potentially eligible apply to divorced wives and widows for benefits on both your own and your as to current wives and widows. That spouse’s work record, but you only means most divorced women collect receive the one that pays the higher their own Social Security while the ex rate, not both. is alive, but they can apply for higher A wife is eligible for between one-third • widow’s rates when they die. and one-half of her spouse’s Social Security benefit, if she does not have her own work record. ) When your spouse (or ex 5. Most working women who reach • dies, you’re probably due a retirement age receive their own Social Security benefit amount because it’s widow’s benefit more than one-third to one-half of their • A widow is eligible for between 71 spouse’s rate. percent (at age 60) and 100 percent (at • If your spouse dies before you, you can full retirement age) of what the spouse apply for the higher widow’s rate. (See was getting before they died. number 5 below.) • We must pay your own retirement benefit first, then supplement it with whatever extra benefits you are due as 4. If you’re divorced and were a widow, to bring your Social Security married at least 10 years, benefit amount up to the widow’s rate. you’re eligible on your ex’s We also can pay you a $255 one-time • death benefit if you were living with your Social Security record spouse when they died. Divorced women who were married at • • If you made more money than your least 10 years are eligible for Social spouse, then they might be due a Security based on their ex’s record, if survivors benefit rate on your record, if they are unmarried when they become you die before they do. eligible for Social Security. • Some women sign divorce decrees Learn more by reading our publication relinquishing their rights to Social What Every Woman Should Know at Security on their ex’s record. Those www.socialsecurity.gov/pubs/EN-05-10127.pdf . clauses in divorce decrees are never enforced. ion | Publication No. 05-10044 | September 2016 Social Security Administrat now About Social Security 5 Things Every Woman Should K SocialSecurity.gov Produced and published at U.S. taxpayer expense

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