When Will WEP Start In My Case?

Oct 14 2020 - 5:43pm

Hi Larry,
I have what I think is a simple question.
I have 30 years of work and paying into the government pension system in Belgium. I will receive the Belgian pension at age 66, this is set in stone and there is no way to start that earlier for me.
I also have 10 years of paying into US social security and can start collecting that at 62.
I no longer work in either country.
Under the WEP rules, will I receive my full US amount from age 62 to age 66 and THEN face a reduction from WEP when the Belgian pension kicks in OR does the WEP reduction occur at age 62 even though I am not collecting the Belgian pension (until 66)? I have looked and looked and cannot find an answer to this online.
Thank you,
Mike

Hi Mike,

The windfall elimination provision (WEP) won't apply to your Social Security retirement benefit rate until the first month of your entitlement to the Belgian pension. 'Entitlement' as defined by Social Security as meaning that you've applied for and been approved for the benefit. In most cases, a person's 'entitlement' month is synonymous with the effective month that they start collecting their non-covered pension. That's not always the case with defined contribution plans, though, but that's apparently not involved in your case.

Thus, if you start drawing your Social Security retirement benefits at age 62 and if you don't start drawing your Belgian pension until age 66, then WEP wouldn't reduce your Social Security benefit until you turn age 66. But, your Social Security benefits would be reduced for age, and that percentage reduction will continue to apply for as long as you live. You may want to strongly consider using our software (https://maximizemysocialsecurity.com/purchase) to fully analyze your options so that you can determine your best strategy for maximizing your benefits.

Best, Jerry