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Bilateral State Pension Agreements

Bilateral State Pension Agreements

Old Jan 18th 2021, 9:34 pm
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Question Bilateral State Pension Agreements

I am currently living and working in the USA for the last 16 years. I have 26 years of work in the UK behind me - which is 26/35ths of the max pension. How would one find out how much/percentage it would increase by adding in the US figure?
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Old Jan 18th 2021, 10:37 pm
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Default Re: Bilateral State Pension Agreements

Not sure what you are asking, but If you are trying to figure out how much your UK pension would increase if you used some of your US social security qualifying years to increase your UK qualifying years then you would need to research the UK US Totalization Agreement to see if you qualify. I don't know much about that because it does not apply to me, but I think you are only eligible to combine credits from different countries if you do not qualify for benefits in the UK AND you do not qualify for benefits in the US.

In your case, it sounds like you already qualify for a partial UK pension and for US Social Security so I don't think you are eligible to combine or transfer these qualifying years. You probably wouldn’t want to do so anyway, because each additional qualifying year in the UK would only increase your UK pension by about 5 pounds a week, whereas you would like get more benefit from US social security for each qualifying year.

Why not just do the Voluntary NICs? Even if you have to pay Class 3 rates they are a good deal, and I think you can go back for the prior 6 years as well as however many are left until you reach your state pension age,
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Old Jan 19th 2021, 12:34 pm
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Default Re: Bilateral State Pension Agreements

I agree with Glasgow Girl. The totalization agreement operates where someone who has worked in both countries is not eligible for benefits in either. https://www.ssa.gov/pubs/EN-05-10199.pdf
In the OPs case he would draw his UK state pension and US social security, and the social security would be subject to WEP.
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Old Jan 19th 2021, 2:36 pm
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Default Re: Bilateral State Pension Agreements

Originally Posted by MidAtlantic View Post
I agree with Glasgow Girl. The totalization agreement operates where someone who has worked in both countries is not eligible for benefits in either. https://www.ssa.gov/pubs/EN-05-10199.pdf
In the OPs case he would draw his UK state pension and US social security, and the social security would be subject to WEP.

If the OP has worked in the US for sixteen years, it seems he would have completed the 40 quarters necessary to qualify for US social security, WEP free.
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Old Jan 19th 2021, 4:12 pm
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Default Re: Bilateral State Pension Agreements

WEP applies until you have at least 30 years earnings on which you paid social security. It starts to phase out after 20 years but is not totally eliminated until you reach 30 years.

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Old Jan 19th 2021, 9:21 pm
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Default Re: Bilateral State Pension Agreements

Originally Posted by Glasgow Girl View Post
WEP applies until you have at least 30 years earnings on which you paid social security. It starts to phase out after 20 years but is not totally eliminated until you reach 30 years.
Thank you for the correction -- I was indeed mixing up eligibility (for SS) with exemption (from WEP)!
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Old Jan 19th 2021, 9:29 pm
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Default Re: Bilateral State Pension Agreements

Easily done, it is way too complex!
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Old Jan 20th 2021, 1:41 am
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Default Re: Bilateral State Pension Agreements

Originally Posted by Glasgow Girl View Post
WEP applies until you have at least 30 years earnings on which you paid social security. It starts to phase out after 20 years but is not totally eliminated until you reach 30 years.
It perhaps deserves a mention that if you're not a respectable citizen earning a decent wage this does not apply. If you're a low-paid worker working full-time the whole year you will be fully WEP'd on your already low SS. The minimum earnings to count for exemption in 2020 was $25,575.
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