Foreign pension and WEP


Q. I have been a FERS employee since 1985 and this year will have 28 years of Social Security substantial earnings.

I was born in the U.K., a U.K. citizen, and worked there in the 1970s before marrying and emigrating to the U.S. with my U.S. Navy husband. I am now eligible to receive a U.K. state pension, 10 years of which are based on employment.

I am now told that my U.K. pension is subject to the windfall elimination provision, as those 10 years are not covered by Social Security. This seems grossly unfair as, at the time I earned my U.K. salary, I was not a U.S. citizen, resident or employee, and had no intentions of becoming one.

A. It may seem unfair, but it’s the law.


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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