Social Security Spouse and Survivor Benefits 101: Practical Primer Part II (Or Another Reason to Put a Ring on It)
American Bar Association – Section of Taxation, News Quarterly, Vol. 30, No. 1, Fall 2010
4 Pages Posted: 9 Nov 2010
Date Written: November 9, 2010
As the country and courts continue to debate the importance of marriage in a variety of contexts, when determining Social Security benefits it is clear that marriage matters. Marriage matters for Social Security benefits planning because of meaningful spouse and survivor benefits. Given the broad and deep devastation of a record recession on retirement and saving accounts, including the continuing demise of defined benefit plans with joint and survivor benefits protection, Social Security benefits, generally, and spouse and survivor benefits, specifically, have become and will continue to be a more significant percentage of retirees’ income. As a result of the interplay between recently phased in changes under 1983 legislation and amendments under the Senior Citizens’ Freedom to Work Act of 2000, it is critical that Social Security benefits timing analysis becomes a more important part of many retirement plans. In this article, we describe how to use these changes to devise strategies to maximize Social Security spouse and survivor benefits.
Keywords: Social Security Benefits, Tax Policy, Elder Law, Spousal Benefits, Survivor Benefits
JEL Classification: D63, E62, H24, J14, J15, J16, J17, J18, I31, I38, K34
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation