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emc011075, Tax adviser
Category: Finance
Satisfied Customers: 3173
Experience:  IRS licensed Enrolled Agent and tax instructor
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I have been living in Europe since more or less 1996 when I

Customer Question

Hi, I have been living in Europe since more or less 1996 when I was last laid off. I was vested in California and had over 10 years of work with local companies. I would like to find out. I understand I am entitled to a benefit when retirement age. 1. when I will be eligible? I am 55 now. 2. how much will I receive. thanks very much! M.XXXXXX
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Finance
Expert:  emc011075 replied 2 years ago.

Hi. My name is ***** ***** I will be happy to help you.

There are two types of benefits available. You have employer sponsored plans like 401K or pension and you have social security benefits.

To qualify for the minimum social security benefits you need to work and earn at least 40 work credits, by paying in to the Social Security system through payroll taxes. You can earn a maximum of 4 credits every year. If you don't have the work credits, then you can't draw any retirement. If you have the work credits and have only earned a very small amount of money over your lifetime, you may draw only $50 or $100 a month on that work record. Most people are eligible at 62.

Because the benefits are based on individual employment records you need to contact social security administration directly. You will need your social security number to access your records. Here's how to contact social security administration:

For the employer sponsored plans and pension you will have to contact the pension/benefits plan administrator. Unfortunately there's no centralized database for pensions and retirement plans. Most people can tap their retirement funds at 59 1/2 without being penalized.

Let me know if you have any questions.

Expert:  emc011075 replied 2 years ago.
I see you read my respond. Do you have any questions? Is there anything else I can help you with today?
And if this answered your question, please take a moment to rate my response so that I may receive credit for assisting you today. However, if you need clarification, or want to discuss this issue further, let me know. Thank you.