Appealing the WEP


Q: I worked in Canada until 1997. I moved to the U.S. in 1997 and became a citizen in 2007. I have been receiving pensions from the Canadian government (Canada Pension Plan). The pension is based on what I contributed through my paychecks in Canada. I am also including that amount in tax returns for the U.S. I applied for my Social Security benefits from the U.S. and they are considering my Canadian pensions as windfall income. I feel that the rule is being applied to me unjustly. Is there any way I can appeal?

A: The windfall elimination provision reduces the Social Security benefit of anyone who receives a pension from a retirement system where he or she didn’t pay Social Security taxes and has fewer than 30 years of substantial earnings under Social Security. That provision includes pensions from another country.


About Author

Reg Jones was head of retirement and insurance policy at the Office of Personnel Management. Email your retirement-related questions to

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