Can My Husband Get Benefits From Both The U.K. And The U.S.?

Mar 21 2017 - 6:00am

My husband was born in the UK and came to the US at the age of 44 in the year of 2000.. He worked in the UK for 29 years (since the age of 15) and now that he's a US Citizen of the US, he's been working, of course in the US for 17 years thus far (he is 61 now. My question is this. Certainly he will be entitled to Social Security in the US (he is employed by a school system, which is considered the State of NJ) but what about all of those years he paid in while living and working in the UK? Is he entitled to any sort of monthly pension/social security benefit also each month from the UK for all of those years he paid in? Can he collect both? He is still working full-time at present and he has not retired yet. If so, how does he apply? Thank you.

Hi,

Yes, it sounds like your husband could get benefits from both the U.S. and U.K. Social Security programs, but his U.S. retirement rate will likely be lowered somewhat due to receipt of the U.K. pension. This is due to the Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP), that can cause a less generous calculation formula to be used if a person receives a pension from work that was exempt from U.S. Social Security taxes (https://www.ssa.gov/pubs/EN-05-10045.pdf). For more information on the U.K. pension program and how to apply for benefits, refer to this reference on Social Security's website: https://www.ssa.gov/international/Agreement_Pamphlets/uk.html.

Your husband may want to consider using the maximization software on this website in order to determine his best filing strategy. The software is fully programmed to handle the effects of WEP.

Best, Jerry