If I remarry, what happens to my survivor benefit?

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Q. What will happen to my Social Security survivor benefits from my late spouse if I remarry?

— Finding love

A. Thank you for your question.

Social Security allows a widow to collect retirement benefits based on their deceased spouse’s benefits.

This can be claimed at full retirement age or as early as age 60, but with a reduced benefit, said Dawn Brown, said Dawn Brown, a certified financial planner with Lassus Wherley, a subsidiary of Peapack-Gladstone Bank, in New Providence.

She said a widow with a disability can claim a benefit at age 50. And if a widow is looking after a minor or disabled child, benefits are available at any age.

“A widow who remarries before age 60, or age 50 if disabled, will not be entitled to their deceased spouse’s benefits,” Brown said. “If you remarry after these ages, your benefit will not be impacted.”

Another consideration is benefits based on your new spouse, Brown said.

“Starting at age 62, if the benefits based on your new spouse are higher, you may be able to switch to those benefits,” she said.

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This story was originally published on April 22, 2020.

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