Why Does Social Security Need Proof Of My German Pension?

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Apr 4 2018 - 4:18pm

i receive a pension of now 174 euro per month since about2010 for when i worked in germany for 11 years from about 1958 / 1969,that includes my 3 years as apprentice to learn my craft .also i get ss ,part of my husbands ss benefit, had not enough quarters to draw my own ,now i do, since i worked the last 10 years and paid into the system i got a letter requesting info for foreign pension.what is this about.i no longer have some of the paperwork they request, my german pension is paid into my german bank acc thank you so much edeltraud

Hi Edeltraud,

Assuming that you filed a claim for Social Security retirement benefits on your own record, Social Security is likely requesting proof of your German pension amount due to the Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP). It sounds like your German pension would likely cause your Social Security retirement benefit rate to be lower than normal because of the WEP provision. The Social Security retirement benefit rate of someone receiving a pension based on their work that was exempt from U.S. Social Security taxes may be calculated using a less generous computation formula (https://www.ssa.gov/pubs/EN-05-10045.pdf).

Fortunately, your German pension would not affect your Social Security spousal benefits. And, depending on the rate of your own Social Security retirement benefit vs. your spousal rate, you may not gain much if anything by filing on your own record. You can only be paid essentially the higher those two benefit rates, not both.

Best, Jerry