Can I Use My U.S. Social Security Credits To Increase My Spanish Pension?

Dec 29 2019 - 1:26pm

Hi,
At FRA I will start collecting survivors benefits on my husband record (he passed in 2017). I worked in the US while married but I am also working in Spain right now where I expect to collect a pension on my own record. I know there is a totalization agreement between both countries. My question is if I can use my US credits to increase my Spain pension without affection my survivor benefits. Thanks!

Hi,

I'm sorry for your loss.

My expertise is limited to U.S. Social Security benefits, so I can't tell you whether or not your U.S. Social Security credits will increase your pension from Spain. What I can tell you, though, is that if and when you receive a pension from Spain it will have no adverse effect on your U.S. Social Security survivor benefits, regardless of whether or not your U.S. Social Security credits are used to calculate those benefits. Foreign pensions are excluded from the definition of a 'government pension' for purposes of the Government Pension Offset provision (https://www.ssa.gov/pubs/EN-05-10007.pdf), so they don't have any effect on U.S. Social Security survivor benefits.

Best, Jerry