Divorced Spousal Beneficiaries in 2050Released: February 2017
Next expected update: 2018
DEFINITION: Divorced spousal beneficiaries are individuals receiving all or part of their Social Security retirement or disability benefits from their ex-spouses' earnings records. Individuals are eligible for divorced spousal benefits if their marriage to their ex-spouse lasted for at least ten years. This group includes spousal-only beneficiaries, who receive benefits based only on their ex-spouses' earnings record, and dually entitled spousal beneficiaries, who also receive benefits based on their own earnings record.
In 2050, we project that:
- About half of 1 percent of all beneficiaries aged 62 or older will be divorced spousal beneficiaries. a
- Almost 90 percent of divorced spousal beneficiaries aged 62 or older will be women.
- The poverty rate will be higher for divorced spousal beneficiaries compared with all beneficiaries aged 62 or older.
- Divorced spousal beneficiaries will be disproportionately in low-earning households.
- At the median, divorced spousal beneficiaries will have earned fewer credits than all beneficiaries aged 62 or older. However, only the dually entitled divorced spousal beneficiaries will have earned enough credits to also qualify for benefits on their own records. b