US Social Security for American Expats

Retirement planning in the Western world is mostly based on a three pillar system made up of your government pension, your corporate pensions and personal savings. By maximizing all three of these vehicles, you can live a fruitful life in retirement.

Your US government pension also known as social security covers not only retirement but disability income and death benefit. Even to expatriates and non-citizens that have worked in the US system for as little as two days. You would need to be in a special situation of being a high earner for the last day of one year and first day of the next year to get benefits in only two day.

While most are under the perception that you need 40 credits to receive Social Security benefits in the US, European countries have reciprocal agreements to receive benefits with as little as 6 credits. It is also important to know that you do not have to be a US citizen to receive Social Security benefits. You should always apply at least four months prior to receiving benefits.

We are lucky to have a team in Dublin that supports European residents in our special situations and you can find their contact details here. And if you're an American Expat and you have received benefits from another social security system, the Windfall Elimination provision will most likely decrease your US Social Security benefit. The social security website has a great factsheet. Look at the WEP chart to see how WEP affects Social Security benefits, WEP Online Calculator, or download the Detailed Calculator if you would like to calculate your full benefits.

While the Social Security administration is trying to streamline benefits to be accessed online, regretfully, they aren't available in this format for citizens in most European countries. Therefore, you can request your current statement by using form 7004. For charts and calculators, please see

Don't hesitate contacting us if you have any questions, one of our qualified advisors will assist you.

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