Ask Larry

Will My Benefits Be Reduced By WEP Due To The Pensions I'll Be Receiving From Germany?

First, my German husband and I are divorcing. He has German pension that I hope will be divided between us. I have not been able to find out whether my part of the settlement will be deducted from my SS due to WEP. (I do not have 30 years of "substantial earnings" as defined by WEP).

I am hopeful that the German pension portion that I receive will not count against my SS, since the half of the pension that I receive is not based on my own earnings.

Can you clarify?

Second, I myself have a small ($200) German pension that is based on years child-rearing in Germany. I am wondering whether this will count as foreign pension? Again, I am hopeful that it will not, since it is not based on earnings.

Thank you!

Hi. The Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP) can only cause a person's U.S. Social Security benefit amount to be reduced if the person receives a pension that is based on THEIR OWN work and earnings that were exempt from U.S. Social Security taxes ( Therefore, if your German pensions are not based on your work and earnings, then they won't cause your U.S. benefit amount to be reduced due to WEP.

Best, Jerry

Mar 15 2023 - 1:32pm
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