Does My Hungarian Pension Reduce My US Social Security Benefit?

May 27 2017 - 6:58am

I am 66 years old. I came to US as a postdoc fellow in 1991. I became a naturalized US citizen in 2001. I got my Hungarian pension (~$300/month) since 2000 . I receiving my US SS benefit since two months (~$2200/m).
US-Hungary had made a new agreement in 2016. I made a high earning income for 24 years in US.
Does my Hungarian pension reduce my US SS benefit?

Hi,

Assuming that your Hungarian pension is based on your work and earnings in that country, then the answer is likely yes. The Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP) results in the use of a less generous benefit computation formula for people receiving pensions based on their work that was exempt from US Social Security taxes, unless they meet an exception (https://www.ssa.gov/pubs/EN-05-10045.pdf).

However, under the WEP guarantee provision, the reduction amount is limited to no more than one-half of the amount of the non-covered pension. So, if your Hungarian pension is less than $300 per month in US dollars, the amount of the reduction to your US Social Security benefit should be less than $150 (https://secure.ssa.gov/apps10/poms.nsf/lnx/0200307290).

Best, Jerry