A pension reciprocal agreement, also known as a totalization agreement, is a bilateral social security agreement that allows workers who have contributed to two or more pension systems to combine their contributions and receive benefits from each country.
Currently, the United States has such agreements with over 30 countries, including the United Kingdom, Canada, France, Germany, and Japan. These agreements can be particularly beneficial for individuals who have worked in multiple countries, as they can avoid losing out on benefits due to differences in eligibility requirements and other factors.
One key aspect of pension reciprocal agreements is the concept of „crediting“ or „importing“ contributions. This means that periods of work in one country can be counted towards eligibility for benefits in the other country. For example, if a US citizen worked in Germany for 10 years and paid into the German pension system, those contributions could be counted towards eligibility for US Social Security benefits.
It is important to note that these agreements can be complex and have specific eligibility requirements, so it is advisable to research and consult with experts before making decisions regarding international work and pensions. Additionally, not all countries have reciprocal agreements with each other, so it is important to check the specific rules for each country in question.
Overall, pension reciprocal agreements can be a valuable tool for individuals who have worked in multiple countries and want to ensure they receive the full benefits they have earned. By combining contributions across countries, individuals can avoid losing out on benefits and ensure a more secure retirement.