5 Replies Latest reply on Nov 19, 2013 6:16 PM by prost22

    benefits from abroad

      Does anyone have experience drawing retirements benefits earned from work overseas but paid through Social Security?  I worked for 11 years in Ireland and was told the Social Security would claim my benefits from PRSI on my behalf.  Not sure how this works.  Will I receive my full benefits from Ireland, or will SS absorb them into their own benefit structure?
        • Re: benefits from abroad
          You want to ask Social Security how that will work.  Give them a call, avoid the beginning of the month.
          Or, you can search on their web site at www.ssa.gov
          You are looking for Totalization Agreement or Totalization Agreement with Ireland.
          • Re: benefits from abroad
            MyR Community Manager
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            • Re: benefits from abroad
              We actually just went through this for my husband, from the UK and from Germany. It's true the US SSA will send your application to the appropriate authorities in Ireland, but they may contact you themselves once that happens to get all the information they need from you to determine your benefit. In our cases, my husband needed the time in Germany and in the UK to qualify for a US benefit, but in the end now he gets a payment from all three systems, best of all his US benefit is more than enough to pay for Medicare Part B, so no need to send a check every month! His biggest check comes from Germany, but every little bit helps! 
              For clarification, the US requires 10 years, Germany only 5 and I'm not sure about the UK, but if you don't have enough in the individual system, they will "totalize" the time to qualify you for the benefit. However you are paid on what you actually paid in. tom0153 is right when he says it's called a Totalization Agreement, and there are treaties with many countries for this.
              Hope this helps! 
                • Re: benefits from abroad
                  I'm intrigued.  I was born in the UK, emigrated when I was 40 to the US, and became a citizen.  When I retired I was told that because I was eligible for UK "social security" (there it is an old age pension) despite having made maximum contributions my social security was reduced, and my UK work pension, since I worked for the National Health Service, was treated as a government benefit and would reduce my social security income further.  Was I misinformed, or are the laws for immigrants different?
                • Re: benefits from abroad
                  In the category of "thank you Mr. Obvious" I would always get a second or third opinion on any benefit. It could be that the bureaucrat that told you couldn't get both the foreign country and US benefit is WRONG, is lying, doesn't know, was having a bad day and so was distracted, etc. One tactic that often seems to work with government offices is never take just one 'no' as the definitive answer.