Social Security Choices

How Much Are Benefits?

The divorced-spousal benefits are computed as a fraction of the principal beneficiary's full retirement benefits. If you have reached your full retirement age (age 66 for most claimants), then the divorced-spousal benefit is 50 percent of the principal's benefit at FRA. For example, if the principal's FRA benefit is $1,000 a month, the spousal benefit is $500 a month, provided the spouse claims the benefit no earlier than age 66. If the spouse claims this benefit at an earlier age, the benefit is reduced by as much as 30 percent depending on the spouse's claiming age (see below).

Please note that if you qualify for a pension from a federal, state or local government based on work where you did not pay Social Security taxes, your Social Security divorced spouse's benefits may be reduced or even eliminated. If you think that you may fall into this category, you should read Government Pension Offset (SSA publication No. 05-10007). And you should contact the Social Security Administration. If your benefits as a divorced spouse are affected by the Government Pension Offset, we cannot do an analysis for you at this time. We are working to incorporate this complication into our software, so check back with us if you fall into this category. We hope to help you in the future.