Windfall elimination


Q. I have worked and paid taxes in both the United States and England during my career (1956-2004). I have worked in both places for the period necessary (in terms of the number of years) to quality for retirement benefits in each country. I am an American citizen. I have not worked for any government agency except for the U.S. Navy for four years. When I started receiving my pensions from both countries, Social Security in the U.S. stated that because of the reciprocal agreement between the U.K. and the U.S., my U.S. benefits would be reduced. Is this correct, and if not, can you advise me on how I should pursue it?

A. Yes, it’s correct and, because it’s the law, there’s nothing you can do to alter the outcome.


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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