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I think this is totally unfair. Before I did so, the estimates the Social Security Administration mailed me said I would get about $900 per month. That formula gives poorer people a better deal, or more appropriately, a higher rate of return, than is paid to wealthier people. Can you help me? I am 66 years old and about to retire. Mary can't get spousal benefits on Frank's Social Security record because her teacher's retirement benefit offsets it. How long the residency abroad continues for, the location, and whether there are any Social Security Agreements with the said country all play a role in the determination, as well as the citizenship status of the individual seeking social security benefits. Can you live outside the U.S. and collect Social Security? How to Contact Social Security; Windfall Elimination Provision Fact Sheet . This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged. That's why the benefit estimate letters you received prior to filing for benefits had the higher benefit rate. He said this is because I was double dipping, and the law didn't allow me to do this. Get access to special offers and resources from other expat services that will make your life even easier living abroad. For example, if you are a U.S. citizen retired in Costa Rica and receiving social security payments, the distribution is not considered foreign … AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that empowers people to choose how they live as they age. Am I able to claim husband's benefits on my wife's U.S. Social Security record? It will be reduced because, without the reduction, you would be getting an unintended windfall in retirement benefits. And I will explain why. Even if the US Social Security System covers an individual’s foreign work, the benefits may still be reduced if earnings exceed an annual exemption amount (the amount changes annually). A well-to-do person will get significantly less — maybe in the 25 percent range. When you're ready to apply for Social Security, call the Social Security Administration at 800-772-1213 and ask what information and documentation you'll need regarding your work abroad. But for some reason that I can't explain, there is a loophole in that offset law for foreign pensions. So now I will get to the "windfall" that you are getting. When your Social Security benefit is initially tallied up, Social Security computers think you are poor because of all those no earning years. Her husband, Frank, did work and pay into Social Security, and he gets $2,100 per month in retirement benefits. For this reason, the government created the Windfall Elimination Provision, which reduces the Social Security benefit an individual may receive. FATCA (Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act). In the next 24 hours, you will receive an email to confirm your subscription to receive emails But you are not going to win your case. Mary is a retired teacher in California. About two years ago, I married a woman who is a U.S. citizen. A: You can appeal if you want. Generally speaking, the US benefit is reduced by $50 for every $100 of the foreign pension. But still, the poor person gets a better deal out of Social Security. And for that matter, Ann can't get any of Bill's Social Security (at least before he dies) because her retirement benefit offsets any spousal benefits she would be due. To understand the reasoning behind the law, I've got to explain something about our Social Security retirement system. And the way that is done is with a retirement benefit formula skewed in their favor. As of February 2020, the United States had such pacts, also known as totalization agreements, with 30 countries: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, the Slovak Republic, Slovenia, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and Uruguay. When you're ready to apply for Social Security, call the Social Security Administration at 800-772-1213 and ask what information and documentation you'll need regarding your work abroad. I plan to appeal. There are social goals that have been built into that system since the program began in 1935. The IRS defines a foreign pension or annuity distribution as a payment from a plan received from a source outside the United States. His wife, Ann, gets her own Social Security check amounting to $1,800 per month. ET Thursday for a live Q&A session on coronavirus and coping. Those computers don't know that you are not really poor. related to AARP volunteering. Contact him at [email protected] To find out more about Tom Margenau and to read past columns and see features from other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com. Get the answers you need to your questions as well as browse Greenback’s most frequently asked customer questions. You said you worked in this country for only 15 years. again. This is very general and the actual reduction depends on the amount of wages and time spent working while not participating in the system. If individuals wish to continue receiving their Social Security benefits but reside abroad during retirement, they must research and carefully chose the location of retirement, as the Social Security Administration will not continue making payments to certain foreign jurisdictions. Free calculators to help manage your money, Rate bonus on high-yield online savings account, AARP Members get $2 off Audible’s monthly membership. So there are 20 years of "zero" earnings on your Social Security record. Among other things, the list will include your Social Security … to search for ways to make a difference in your community at We are both 66. You should be able to collect $1,400 per month in husband's benefits on your wife's Social Security record. But I know of other Canadians living here who do get spousal benefits from Social Security. You said you worked in this country for only 15 years. Manage your email preferences and tell us which topics interest you so that we can prioritize the information you receive. One of the provisions is the reduction of the US Social Security Benefit if receiving foreign social security payments or private pension …

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