If you are among the growing number of Americans who spend part of their career working outside the U.S., you may wonder what effect this will have on your Social Security taxes and benefits. Fortunately, the United States has concluded Social Security agreements with a number of other countries that help you avoid double taxation while working abroad and also help protect your future benefit rights.

Your work overseas may help you to qualify for U.S. benefits if it was covered under a foreign Social Security system.

One of the main purposes of the international agreements is to help people who have worked in both the United States and the other country, but who have not worked long enough in one country or the other to qualify for Social Security benefits. Under the agreement, we can count your work credits in the other country if this will help you qualify for U.S. benefits. However, if you already have enough credit under U.S. Social Security to qualify for a benefit, we will not count your credits in the other country.

If we have to count your foreign work credits, you will receive a partial U.S. benefit that is related to the length of time you worked under U.S. Social Security.

Although we may count your work credits in the other country, your credits are not actually transferred from that country to the United States. They remain on your record in the other country. It is therefore possible for you to qualify for a separate benefit payment from both countries.

For more information about the agreements, including details about specific agreements in force, read "International Agreements."

Agreement Countries

Australia
Oct. 1, 2002
Austria
Nov. 1, 1991
Belgium
July 1, 1984
Canada
Aug. 1, 1984
Chile
Dec. 1, 2001
Czech Republic
Jan. 1, 2009
Denmark
Oct. 1, 2008
Finland
Nov. 1, 1992
France
July 1, 1988
Germany
Dec. 1, 1979
Greece
Sept. 1, 1994
Ireland
Sept. 1, 1993
Italy
Nov. 1, 1978
Japan
Oct. 1, 2005
Korea (South)
April 1, 2001
Luxembourg
Nov. 1, 1993
Netherlands
Nov. 1, 1990
Norway
July 1, 1984
Poland
March 1, 2009
Portugal
Aug. 1, 1989
Slovak Republic
May 1, 2014
Spain
April 1, 1988
Sweden
Jan. 1, 1987
Switzerland
Nov. 1, 1980
United Kingdom
Jan. 1, 1985

Note: If you will receive a pension from a foreign government based on your work, the amount of your Social Security benefit may be affected by the Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP).