Since my spouse has a non-covered foreign pension, will she be subject to the WEP or GPO for benefits on my record?

Published: March 21, 2022

Full question: Hello Martha, my wife has lived her whole life in Japan and has a small Japanese pension in the near future. The pension system in Japan is mandatory it is run by the government regardless of where you work. Anyways we think she will get about $1000 a month once she retires. The question is will WEP be applied and will she lose her Social Security spousal benefits that she can get based on my record with Social Security. She has never worked in the US and never paid any Social Security taxes. Thank you in advance for your answer and help!


Spousal benefits are only subject to the GPO (Government Pension Offset).

The WEP only affects benefits on one’s own retirement benefits on their own record.

Foreign pensions are not affected by the GPO so your spouse should be able to collect the spousal benefit without pension reductions.

However, being that your spouse does not have enough credits on her own record and will rely only on benefits from your record, it makes it even more important to plan. In this case, spousal and survivor benefits are going to be very important to optimize when to take benefits for both spouses. It is important to plan properly and understand your options and Social Security rules that affect your benefits based on your personal situation. Reach out to us to set up an initial call to find out more about working with us on your personalized Social Security plan!

Take care,

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