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Can I transfer credits from a foreign country's pension system to my Social Security work record?

En español | Possibly, depending on which country you worked in. The United States has Social Security agreements with many countries, most of them in Europe, to address the special requirements of people like you.

These agreements help you qualify for Social Security by letting you pool your credits from both countries. They may also eliminate the need for workers to pay payroll taxes to both countries on the same wages — they pay into just one system.

As of February 2020, the United States had such pacts, also known as totalization agreements, with 30 countries: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, the Slovak Republic, Slovenia, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and Uruguay.

When you're ready to apply for Social Security, call the Social Security Administration at 800-772-1213 and ask what information and documentation you'll need regarding your work abroad. Among other things, the list will include your Social Security number, the equivalent identification number from the other country and proof of age.

Updated February 20, 2020

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