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How are Voluntary Class 2 NICS recorded on your UK NI statement

How are Voluntary Class 2 NICS recorded on your UK NI statement

Old May 29th 2021, 1:49 pm
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Default How are Voluntary Class 2 NICS recorded on your UK NI statement

For those of you making Voluntary Class 2 NI contributions, how are they identified on your NI record? My Class 1 NICS earned while working in the UK are identified as “Paid Employment : £xxxx", and my Class 2 voluntary contributions made after I moved to the US are identified as “Self Employment: 52 (or 53) weeks”. I have never been self employed in the US, always working for a corporation. Is this how your Voluntary Class 2 NICS are recorded as well? I started Voluntary Class 2 Contributions way back in the late 90’s if that makes any difference.

I was expecting to see something that made it clear that the Class 2 contributions were voluntary so that I can reduce the amount by which my US Social Security will be WEP’d. I only have 20 years of SS contributions and retired very early so will not be adding to that and will therefore be subject to the full WEP. I am continuing to contribute Voluntary Class 2 NICS until I reach the maximum UK state pension and so the proportion of Voluntary NI’s to Paid NI's will increase thus reducing the amount of the UK state pension that is subject to WEP, but I want to make sure that the Class 2 Voluntary NICS are recognized as such when the time comes to claim US SS and calculate the WEP amount.

Thank you to anyone who can help with this.
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Old May 29th 2021, 10:42 pm
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Default Re: How are Voluntary Class 2 NICS recorded on your UK NI statement

I think voluntary contributions are simply recorded as voluntary contributions regardless of Class 2 or Class 3.

My Class 3 contributions state the following from the DWP website where I downloaded a PDF of my contributions

2019-20 Full year
You have contributions from
Voluntary: 52 weeks
.
.
.
1987-88 Full year
You have contributions from
Paid employment: £603.69
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Old May 30th 2021, 12:27 am
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Default Re: How are Voluntary Class 2 NICS recorded on your UK NI statement

Thank you. That is interesting. I was expecting to see Voluntary as well. Not sure why it states self employment. I will have to call them and find out what is going on.
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Old May 30th 2021, 12:20 pm
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Default Re: How are Voluntary Class 2 NICS recorded on your UK NI statement

Originally Posted by Glasgow Girl View Post
Thank you. That is interesting. I was expecting to see Voluntary as well. Not sure why it states self employment. I will have to call them and find out what is going on.
I have never been self employed so can’t say how it is reported. My wife had 6 years where she did not work and we had at least 1 child under school age. This is also made clear that the contributions were not from paid employment

1986-87 Full year
You have contributions from
National Insurance credits: 52 weeks

These may have been added to your record if you were ill/disabled, unemployed, caring for someone full-time or on jury service.
1985-86 Full year
National Insurance credits: 52 weeks
These may have been added to your record if you were ill/disabled, unemployed, caring for someone full-time or on jury service.
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Old May 30th 2021, 9:27 pm
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Default Re: How are Voluntary Class 2 NICS recorded on your UK NI statement

My class 2 (made as a voluntary contribution while working in the US) shows as the below, example from last year:

”2019-20 Full yearYou have contributions from

Self-employment: 53 weeks”


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Old May 30th 2021, 9:51 pm
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Default Re: How are Voluntary Class 2 NICS recorded on your UK NI statement

Thank you. That is exactly how mine appear as well. I know Class 2’s are usually for the self employed back in the UK, although some of us overseas qualify for them as well. I guess Self-employment is how they categorize all Class 2’s regardless of why they are being made. I wanted to make sure that my record was not a mistake, and it would seem that this is just how they do it.
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Old Jun 2nd 2021, 5:26 pm
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Default Re: How are Voluntary Class 2 NICS recorded on your UK NI statement

Same with me - voluntary NI contributions while working in the US shown as Self-employment. However, for 2019-20 my Full year is only 52 weeks
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Old Jun 2nd 2021, 5:39 pm
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Default Re: How are Voluntary Class 2 NICS recorded on your UK NI statement

Thanks for that data point. I have never been self employed either in the UK or US and can only conclude that they categorize all Class 2 contributions as Self Employed, even if totally voluntary and and there is no self employment. Perhaps they can only use one identification category and since Class 2 Contributions were primarily designed for the Self Employed they are identified as such, and because Class 3 were designed for voluntary contribution they are identified as Voluntary

Hopefully when the time comes I can convince US Social Security that these were indeed voluntary contributions and so use them to reduce my WEP. It sounds like I will not be the first person to bring this to the table.
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Old Jun 3rd 2021, 3:08 pm
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Default Re: How are Voluntary Class 2 NICS recorded on your UK NI statement

Originally Posted by Glasgow Girl View Post
Hopefully when the time comes I can convince US Social Security that these were indeed voluntary contributions and so use them to reduce my WEP. It sounds like I will not be the first person to bring this to the table.
Out of interest, do you have any sort of current basis in law to claim that treatment from the SSA?

I'm going to be in the same boat as you are in that I'm likely to be subject to WEP when I eventually claim Social Security, and I'd love to know if there's a way to disregard voluntary contributions.

Are you able to share any research or articles on this that you've came across so far?
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Old Jun 3rd 2021, 3:44 pm
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Default Re: How are Voluntary Class 2 NICS recorded on your UK NI statement

Originally Posted by TexanScot View Post
Out of interest, do you have any sort of current basis in law to claim that treatment from the SSA?

I'm going to be in the same boat as you are in that I'm likely to be subject to WEP when I eventually claim Social Security, and I'd love to know if there's a way to disregard voluntary contributions.

Are you able to share any research or articles on this that you've came across so far?
Have fun and trawl through this: https://fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/98-35.pdf

As per the Social Security website: The Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP) is a provision in United States law that changes the way your U.S. Social Security benefits are calculated. WEP can reduce your U.S. retirement or disability benefits if you receive a pension based on work and you did not pay U.S. Social Security taxes on those earnings. Emphasis mine.
https://www.ssa.gov/international/wep_intro.html

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Old Jun 3rd 2021, 3:49 pm
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Default Re: How are Voluntary Class 2 NICS recorded on your UK NI statement

Originally Posted by MidAtlantic View Post
Have fun and trawl through this: https://fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/98-35.pdf

As per the Social Security website: The Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP) is a provision in United States law that changes the way your U.S. Social Security benefits are calculated. WEP can reduce your U.S. retirement or disability benefits if you receive a pension based on work and you did not pay U.S. Social Security taxes on those earnings. Emphasis mine.
https://www.ssa.gov/international/wep_intro.html
I read this as the key part:

and you did not pay U.S. Social Security taxes on those earnings” the class 2 contributions I make are from US taxed earnings that I pay SS on.
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Old Jun 3rd 2021, 3:53 pm
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Default Re: How are Voluntary Class 2 NICS recorded on your UK NI statement

Originally Posted by TexanScot View Post
Out of interest, do you have any sort of current basis in law to claim that treatment from the SSA?

I'm going to be in the same boat as you are in that I'm likely to be subject to WEP when I eventually claim Social Security, and I'd love to know if there's a way to disregard voluntary contributions.

Are you able to share any research or articles on this that you've came across so far?
it is plain from the rules that WEP only applies to pensions earned from paid employment where SS contributions (FICA) were not paid. Class 2 might be an issue because it usually applies to self employed folks therefore the contributions are coming from money you earned.

I believe Class 3 is not an issue and in conversations with Federal Benefits Unit persons when applying for SS I was told you should be able to exclude the portion of the UK State pension gained from those contributions. I was told to have all your paperwork ready at the time of application. My wife has a telephone appointment to complete her application on July 1st and she has PDF copies from the DWP website so we will know soon if this is actually the case.
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Old Jun 3rd 2021, 5:31 pm
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Default Re: How are Voluntary Class 2 NICS recorded on your UK NI statement

Originally Posted by tht View Post
I read this as the key part:

and you did not pay U.S. Social Security taxes on those earnings” the class 2 contributions I make are from US taxed earnings that I pay SS on.
Yeah, that's the bit I'm not 100% clear on.

If I'm paying voluntary NICs (whether they are Class 2 or Class 3), then is the entitlement always disregardable since it was based on voluntary contributions rather than on earnings?
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Old Jun 3rd 2021, 5:48 pm
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Default Re: How are Voluntary Class 2 NICS recorded on your UK NI statement

Originally Posted by TexanScot View Post
Out of interest, do you have any sort of current basis in law to claim that treatment from the SSA?

I'm going to be in the same boat as you are in that I'm likely to be subject to WEP when I eventually claim Social Security, and I'd love to know if there's a way to disregard voluntary contributions.

Are you able to share any research or articles on this that you've came across so far?
I cannot point to anything specifically right now. But I have been tracking and researching this off and on on using many resources, including the US SS sites, for about 10 years and my understanding is as stated above that any part of your UK state pension based on work and you did not pay U.S. Social Security taxes on those earnings is subject to WEP.

Therefore any part of your pension based upon Class 1 Contributions will be included in the WEP calculation because it is based upon UK work/earnings and no US SS contributions were deducted. Any part of your pension based upon credits will be excluded because that part of the pension was not based upon earnings.

Voluntary Contributions can be looked at in two ways. First, as tht stated you can take the position that you paid the voluntary contributions from US earnings on which SS contributions were deducted. However that would exclude people making Class 3 Voluntary NI’s who are not employed.

The second position is that Voluntary Contributions are only allowed if you are unemployed (Class 3 only) in which case there are no earnings so the WEP clause does not apply, or you qualify because of employment (Class 2 or 3 depending upon personal circumstances prior to leaving the UK) and if you have SS deducted from that employment then again the WEP clause does not apply.

The history of WEP is very complex but in simple terms the intent is to ensure that you do not receive more SS than you would have had your entire lifetime earnings been subject to US SS deductions. In very simple terms the SS payment is a function of your average lifetime earnings. They take the average of your best 35 years ($0 for years which there were no earnings with SS deducted) and calculate the monthly SS as 90% of the first $996, 32% of anything between $996 and $6,002, and the remainder at 15%. It is therefore very heavily skewed towards those with lower earnings. Those who have relatively high earnings but few years will have an average lifetime wage similar to those on lower wages with the full 35 years, and will receive the maximum payout (or close to it). This will be in addition to any pensions derived from other earnings such as UK pensions, and was deemed to be a windfall and unfair (and a good opportunity for a government money grabbing exercise). Hence the introduction of WEP. It was actually intended to catch government employees who do not pay SS and receive a pension in lieu of SS, but they found that many employees worked in both the government sector and the private sector over their careers and ended up with a larger combined pension/SS than those with similar earnings made wholly in the private sector. We expats just got caught up in the system.

With all that said, it is sort of fair if you can bend you head around it.

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Old Jun 3rd 2021, 5:59 pm
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Default Re: How are Voluntary Class 2 NICS recorded on your UK NI statement

I think the only confusion is on how they document Class 2 Voluntary NI’s. It seems that they are recorded as Self Employed if you are paying Class 2’s and Voluntary as Class 3. I am no longer too worried about that since it appears that recording Class 2’s as Self Employed is just how they do it when you are abroad. Regardless, I can prove that I paid SS on all earnings for the years in which I made NI’s and therefore the WEP clause should not apply.

As a point of reference, over the years I have had several people confirm that years associated with these Voluntary Contributions are excluded from WEP, BUT you have to point this out to the SS people as many of them will be unaware of UK Voluntary NI’s and you have to walk them through the process.
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