Ask Larry

Will My U.S. Social Security Benefits Be Affected By My Widow's Pension From Bermuda?

Good Morning!
I currently live in Bermuda and will be retiring and moving back to the US at age 65 (my retirement age is not until 66 8 months). I have been living here for the last 39 years. I am not an expat - I have dual citizenship. Bermuda does not have a totalization agreement with the US. I have been making contributions to the US social security system and also the country I am living in. I am currently receiving a widow's pension in Bermuda. Will my US social security benefits be effected? What happens if and when I get remarried and start collecting MY actual benefits from the foreign country - how will that affect my US SS benefits?

Hi. No. Your foreign pension could only affect your U.S. Social Security benefits if the foreign pension was based on your own earnings. Spousal or survivor pensions that a person receives from foreign countries don't affect their U.S. Social Security benefits.

However, if you start collecting a foreign pension that's based on your own earnings then your Social Security retirement benefit rate could be reduced due to the Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP). The amount of any such reduction depends on multiple different factors, so you may want to strongly consider using our software ( to fully compare and analyze all of your options so that you can determine your best strategy for maximizing your benefits.

Best, Jerry

Jan 6 2023 - 1:24pm
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