Ask Larry

Can I Collect Benefits From Both Canada And The U.S.?

I am retiring from Canada and USA and live in USA.
1.can I collect from both countries and will there be a reduction from my U.S. benefit because it will be greater than my Canadian.
2. Can I legally avoid getting this reduction
3. Is there a formula to calculate the reduction
4. Is dollar exchange in the formula because I do not want to be short changed

Hi. Yes, you can potentially collect benefits from both the Canadian Pension Plan (CPP) and U.S. Social Security. But if you're collecting a CPP pension, then unless you meet one of the exceptions to the U.S. Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP) your U.S. Social Security retirement benefit rate will be lower than it would be if you weren't receiving a CPP pension.

WEP can cause a person's Social Security retirement or disability benefit rate to be calculated using a different, less generous, benefit computation formula than the formula that's normally used. And, no, you can't legally avoid the reduction unless you meet one of the exceptions to WEP. The exceptions and the modified computation formula are outlined in the following Social Security publication:

And, finally, yes the foreign exchange rate is accounted for when calculating benefits involving the WEP. By the way, our software ( is programmed to handle WEP and non-WEP computations, so you should strongly consider using the software to fully compare and analyze all of your options so that you can determine your best strategy for maximizing your benefits.

Best, Jerry

Apr 10 2023 - 10:27am
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