Married Women’s Projected Retirement Benefits


The Social Security Act of 1935 furnished for the overall welfare of employees with the aid of setting up a gadget of federal vintage-age advantages. The 1939 amendments to the act added auxiliary benefits for girls based totally on what become considered as the traditional American family—guys had been “breadwinners”; women had been wives (or widows); and husbands and better halves remained married for a life-time (Berkowitz 2002). Subsequent amendments prolonged blessings to divorced better halves and survivors of insured employees.1 Today, Social Security presents month-to-month retirement-age advantages to qualified employees and auxiliary blessings to their wives, ex-better halves, and widows based totally on their marital histories and lifetime earnings (Social Security Administration [SSA], n.D.).2

Increasing numbers of ladies now get hold of Social Security retirement advantages based totally on their own profits. Many ladies, but, continue to receive benefits primarily based partially or 相睇 entirely at the income information of their modern-day or former husbands because their marriage-based totally benefits are better than they would be in the event that they had been based entirely on their very own profits records. Because gain quantities are better than they in any other case would be for a huge number of beneficiaries, marriage-primarily based auxiliary blessings have an crucial impact on program expenses. In December 2014, Social Security paid retirement-age blessings to 26.3 million ladies aged sixty two or older (SSA 2016, Table 5A.14). Slightly greater than half of these beneficiaries (fifty one.1 percentage, or 13.4 million women) obtained benefits primarily based on their very own profits, while the the rest (forty eight.9 percent, or 12.9 million women) acquired benefits primarily based as a minimum in element on marriage.Three

In December 2014, about 2.3 million ladies elderly sixty two or older received auxiliary blessings primarily based entirely on their spouses’ earnings and any other three.1 million were dually entitled to both their very own retired-employee blessings and auxiliary advantages. In addition, 3.7 million widows acquired higher month-to-month Social Security blessings based totally on their deceased spouses’ earnings records and 3.8 million dually entitled widows received a survivor gain that become higher than their personal retired-employee benefit could had been. Thus, about 23 percentage of woman beneficiaries aged 62 or older acquired only spouse/widow advantages and some other 26 percentage obtained dual-entitlement advantages in December 2014. That is a marked shift from earlier years, including 1960, whilst fifty seven percentage of girl beneficiaries elderly 62 or older received only auxiliary blessings and 5 percent received dual-entitlement benefits.

Two foremost traits have contributed to the shift from auxiliary to retired-employee advantages for girls at retirement. First, women’s participation within the labor force expanded dramatically after 1960 (Goldin 2006; Blau and Kahn 2007). This was specially genuine for married ladies (Bureau of Labor Statistics 2014), which include moms of younger kids (Cohany and Sok 2007, Chart 1). The majority of this increase passed off with the aid of the Nineteen Nineties, ensuing in more ladies in publish–World War II beginning cohorts earning eligibility for Social Security retirement blessings based on their personal lifetime profits. Second, marriage traits started to exchange in methods that resulted in lower possibilities of women born after 1945 turning into eligible for advantages as better halves or widows of eligible employees (Stevenson and Wolfers 2007; Kennedy and Ruggles 2014; Tamborini and Whitman 2007; Iams and Tamborini 2012; Butrica and Smith 2012).

Social Security Program Rules
This phase offers a brief evaluation of the Social Security application guidelines relevant to women elderly 62 or older who’re eligible for marriage-based totally retirement blessings because the wife, divorced ex-wife, or widow of an insured employee. The spouse of a retired worker is eligible for a spousal gain of up to 50 percent of her husband’s primary insurance amount (PIA), if claimed at her full retirement age (FRA).Four A wife typically have to be married to the insured worker for at the least 1 continuous 12 months before she can receive benefits based on her husband’s record. A divorcee can be eligible for a divorced-spouse advantage of up to 50 percent of her ex-spouse’s PIA if the marriage lasted 10 years (a hundred and twenty months) and the ex-spouse is alive.Five A dually entitled female—who’s eligible for advantages primarily based on her very own and on her spouse’s lifetime earnings—receives her retired-worker gain supplemented through the distinction between that amount and the spousal advantage quantity. If the spouse’s personal retired-worker gain is better than her spousal benefit, she gets handiest her retired-worker benefit (Iams and Tamborini 2012; SSA, n.D.).

Social Security additionally affords auxiliary advantages to widows of insured workers. If a widow collects blessings at her FRA, her widow’s benefit can identical up to one hundred percent of her deceased husband’s PIA. A reduced advantage (71–99 percentage of the deceased worker’s PIA) is available as early as age 60 (age 50 if the survivor is disabled).6 A divorcee with a 10-12 months marriage may qualify for a survivor’s gain if her ex-husband dies. (In this be aware, “widow” consists of qualifying surviving divorced ex-wives.) If the widow benefit exceeds her personal retired-worker benefit, then she is dually entitled and receives her personal retired-employee benefit supplemented by using the difference between it and her surviving-partner benefit. If her own retired-employee benefit is larger than the widow gain, then she is most effective eligible for her own retired-employee advantage.


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