Not when it comes to each spouse’s own benefit. Both can receive retirement payments based on their respective earnings records and the age when they claimed benefits. One payment does not offset or affect the other.
There is a maximum family benefit, however, a cap on the total amount a family can collect from Social Security on a single worker’s earnings record (including spousal, children’s and survivor benefits). The maximum amount is between 150 percent and 188 percent of the worker’s monthly benefit payment at full retirement age.
There is also a maximum individual retirement benefit, a limit on the amount an individual can collect per month from Social Security. To draw the highest possible benefit, you must have earned at least the maximum taxable earnings (the amount of income subject to Social Security taxes) for 35 of your working years.
For an eligible beneficiary who claims Social Security upon reaching full retirement age in 2024, the highest possible monthly payment is $3,822. For one who does so at age 70, it’s $4,873. If they qualify based on their own work histories, a married couple can each receive the maximum individual retirement benefit.
Keep in mind
The maximum individual benefit can change each year as Social Security adjusts the maximum taxable earnings (based on national wage trends) and applies a cost-of-living increase, if applicable.
Andy Markowitz is a writer and editor for AARP, covering Social Security and fraud. He is a former editor of The Prague Post and Baltimore City Paper.