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.