If I receive a foreign pension and qualify for spousal benefits, can I receive both?

Published: August 24, 2020


Yes, you still qualify for full Social Security spousal benefits; your foreign pension will have no bearing on your eligibility for spousal benefits.

Foreign pensions are not considered as government pensions for purposes of the GPO provision, as specified in the first bullet of Section B, Payments That Are Not Pensions For GPO, in this reference from the Social Security Program Operations Manual.

Another consideration related to Social Security and foreign pensions is that, just as in the U.S., Social Security retirement benefits for retirees who have a foreign pension may be reduced by the WEP rule.

The SSA has a screening tool for WEP and foreign pensions to help you figure out if you will be affected.

Take care,

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