Isn't It Correct That You Don't Pay WEP On Japanese Social Security?

Oct 22 2019 - 10:18am

HI Larry
I did buy your software and ran the numbers. I have a question? My spouse draws Japanese social equity Born 1955 (63)I was born 1957(62) So I her income was higher, I filed Married and clamed her as spouse and there was no difference With WEP if she file on her own or if I claimed her as a spouse me claiming first . I thought you did not have to pay WEP on Japanese social security if she was filed as my spousal benefit .
Thank you for your help

Hi,

I answer questions submitted to this site but I don't have access to customer's data. Therefore, I can only give you general information about the Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP) and Government Pension Offset (GPO) provisions. For specific information about your situation you should resubmit your question using an online contact form in the help menu so that your question can be answered by one of our experts with access to your customer data.

What I can tell you is that the WEP provision only applies to Social Security retirement and disability benefits that are payable based on a person's own work record. WEP does not directly affect auxiliary (e.g. spousal) or survivor benefits. However, since auxiliary benefits are based on a percentage of the worker's primary insurance amount (PIA), if a worker's PIA is reduced due to WEP then any auxiliary benefits payable on that worker's record would in turn be lower.

The provision that can directly affect auxiliary and survivor benefits is the GPO provision. If a person receives a pension based on their work for a U.S. governmental agency (e.g. federal, state, local) and if they didn't pay Social Security taxes on those earnings, then any Social Security auxiliary or survivor benefits for which that person qualifies could be offset by 2/3rds of the amount of their government pension (https://www.ssa.gov/pubs/EN-05-10007.pdf).

A pension from Japan's Social Security program would not be considered as a government pension for purposes of the GPO provision, but it would be classified as a non-covered pension for purposes of the WEP provision. If your wife receives only spousal benefits from your U.S. Social Security record, then her Japanese Social Security benefits wouldn't affect her spousal benefits. However, if she receives U.S. Social Security retirement or disability benefits, then those benefits could be reduced because of her Japanese benefits due to the WEP provision. Or, if your Social Security retirement benefits are being reduced due to WEP, then that could in turn cause your wife to receive a lower spousal rate.

Best, Jerry