What Are Your Thoughts On Legislation To Discontinue WEP?

Jul 6 2020 - 9:35am

Hello Larry and Jerry

Thanks for your previous good advice on the effects a UK state pension has on WEP. I see there is legislation being proposed to discontinue WEP. What's your thoughts on the chances of it passing? And would it be advantageous to a UK state pension beneficiary?

I read conflicting reports on the maximum rates of WEP. is it a maximum of 50% of the UK state pension?

Is my entitlement to SS affected by the fact I have now given up my green card and "expatriated" to UK and Australia.



Hi Clive,

If the Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP) was removed from the Social Security law entirely, then your UK pension would have no effect on your U.S. Social Security benefits. That would take an act of Congress, though, and Congress could instead do nothing, or amend the provision in some other manner. So, whether or not an amendment to WEP would affect you directly would depend on what's included in the amendment.

I should tell you, though, that the WEP provision was added to the Social Security law by Congress in the 1980s. And, various bills have been floated in Congress in virtually every Congressional session since that time. None of those bills has even come close to being passed by Congress, so I would be very surprised if the WEP provision is ever changed in any substantial manner.

Regarding your other questions, yes the WEP guarantee provision states that your primary insurance amount (PIA) can't be reduced by more than 50% of the gross amount of your non-covered pension. The reduction amount could be even less than that, though, if the regular WEP formula results in a smaller reduction (https://www.ssa.gov/policy/docs/program-explainers/windfall-elimination-...). Our software (https://maximizemysocialsecurity.com/purchase) can handle regular WEP calculations as well as the WEP guarantee.

And, citizens of the U.K. and Australia can be paid their U.S. Social Security benefits while living in either of those countries regardless of whether or not they have a 'green card' from the U.S.

Best, Jerry