Current Law Projections
- Why Will Poverty
Spousal-Only Beneficiaries in 2050Released: October 2012
Next expected update: Spring 2014
DEFINITION: Spousal-only beneficiaries are individuals who did not work at all or enough to qualify for Social Security retirement benefits on their own earnings records, but do qualify for one-half of their spouse's monthly benefit.
In 2050, we project that:
- One percent of all beneficiaries aged 62 or older will be spousal only and more than three-fourths of spousal-only beneficiaries aged 62 or older will be women.
- The poverty rate will be higher for spousal-only beneficiaries compared with all beneficiaries aged 62 or older.
- Spousal-only beneficiaries will be disproportionately in low-earning households.
- Spousal-only beneficiaries will earn some credits by 2050, but not enough to qualify for benefits on their own records.a