Course: Insurance Planning
Lesson 10: Social Security

## Student Question:

This question (below) doesn’t quite make sense to me. Could you clarify why the correct answer is D?

Robin Elizabeth qualifies for a retirement benefit of \$250 and a spouse’s benefit of \$400. At her full retirement age, she will receive which of the following?

1. Both \$250 and \$400.
2. The higher of her benefit or her spouse’s benefit.
3. Her spouse’s benefit of \$400.
4. Her benefit of \$250 plus \$150 from her spouse’s benefit.

Thanks.

Matthew

## Instructor Response:

Hi Matt,

Great question.  The nuance here is what benefit is paid from which spouse’s record of covered earnings (record).

Robin and her husband each have their own individual record.

• Robin is paid a retirement benefit of \$250 from her own record first.
• She would receive that amount even if not married.
• We’re told that Robin has a spousal benefit of \$400, calculated as 50% of her husband’s Social Security retirement benefit.
• She is paid the greater of the spousal benefit or her own benefit.

Here’s the nuance – Robin’s \$400 is deemed to come first from her own record (\$250 in retirement benefit) and then from her husband’s record for the remaining amount (\$150).

Bruce