Social Security Benefits for Women

How Do Social Security Benefits Work For Women?

Depending on your situation, Social Security can be critical to the income you make once you retire. Women, who are statistically shown to live longer than men, who are single and will exceed retirement age, find SS very important. On average, it is said that women who are 65, outlive men by roughly 2.3 years. This statistic shows that the additional years a women is said to outlive men will put women at risk of their pension.

Social Security Benefits for Women

Roughly 22 percent of women receive a pension compared to the 27 percent of men. The women who do receive pensions, generally receive, on average, smaller amounts than men. This is a prime example as to why women depend on retirement benefits that they can receive from SS. Unlike most pensions, SS benefits will last a lifetime.

Here is a rundown of how Social Security benefits are figured out:

  • Benefits are based on the average of the 35 years of income that you worked
  • If you’ve worked less than 35 years, your average will significantly go down because in placement of the missing yours, you will receive 0 as income earned
  • The year you were born also plays a huge factor of your eligibility for Social Security benefits
  • Remember these acronyms: Full Retirement Age — FRA — and Primary Insurance Amount — PIA
  • You don’t have to be full retirement age in order to start receiving benefits. Your monthly payments will just be reduced until you reach the retirement age.
  • Claiming benefits at 62 can secure and finalize the monthly payments, so that decision of claiming early can be risky
  • Depending on your situation, waiting until you’re 70 to retire can increase your benefits by 32 percent
  • You waiting until you reached 70 sometimes does not have any benefit at all

How SSD Works If Married Or Widowed

To be covered for SS employment benefits, you need to work a sufficient amount of time to reach this eligibility. If you meet this eligibility, then you meet those needs and can receive SS benefits. If a woman is married, then you will also be able to receive her spouses benefits as well. This works if a woman is widowed and will be based on the earning of her husband. If a woman is widowed and her husbands earning are more than hers, she will receive both benefits. She will receive her benefit as well as the difference between her benefit and her spouse that passed away benefit. If a woman works under a company that is not covered with Social Security, she is still able to receive her deceased spouses benefit if it is greater than two-thirds of her annuity.

If a woman divorces her husband before 10 years, she is only eligible for her own Social Security benefits. If married for 10 or more years, an unmarried, previously divorced, woman is eligible for the same benefits as if she was a surviving spouse. If a woman does not remarry until after she is 60, she will still receive surviving spouse benefits. If a woman decides to retire early, this will drastically reduce those benefits. There are very few incentives for widows who decide to delay their benefits. This can also be an issue if their spouse decided to retire early because the benefits are already restricted based on early retirement.

Widowers who are disabled, but are not the full retirement age, can receive early widow benefits as early as 50 years old, though benefits will be reduced. At age 50, the reduction is 28.5 percent. You cannot receive benefits before the age of 50 and your disability had to have happened within seven years of your spouse’s death to be eligible.

Though there is no discrimination based on gender in regards to Social Security benefits, an average female who works and is eligible for benefits does receive a drastically smaller amount then a male. This is because statistically, a woman receives lower earnings then a man does. Social Security benefits are made to be a protection plan for those who have worked for a substantial amount of time.