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questions about UK pension in the USA

questions about UK pension in the USA

Old Feb 26th 2018, 6:34 pm
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Question questions about UK pension in the USA

Hi, everyone. I am new to the BritishExpats community and I am seeking some answers on behalf of my mom who is elderly and has lived in the US for 50+ years. My mom is a US citizen and is approaching 90 years old and is no longer able to travel. I am assisting her with some of her financial matters as she is not active online. She worked in the UK for 15 years before moving to the US in 1959.

She has been collecting a UK state pension with the deposits being made in her UK building society (Halifax) account. The time has come where she needs to close out the Halifax account and have the pension funds deposited into her US banking account. I cannot seem to find online the DWP form she would need to complete to have her pension deposited in the US. Can someone please direct me or offer some advice? Also, is there a way I can assist her here in the States to close out the Halifax account or will that require that we travel to a Halifax branch to close it out? My mom and I have been going over to the UK every two years and physically withdrawing funds from her Halifax account but that has become an impractical with her declining health and advancing age.

Any advice/direction is greatly appreciated!
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Old Feb 26th 2018, 7:45 pm
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Default Re: questions about UK pension in the USA

Originally Posted by librarygirlatl View Post
Hi, everyone. I am new to the BritishExpats community and I am seeking some answers on behalf of my mom who is elderly and has lived in the US for 50+ years. My mom is a US citizen and is approaching 90 years old and is no longer able to travel. I am assisting her with some of her financial matters as she is not active online. She worked in the UK for 15 years before moving to the US in 1959.

She has been collecting a UK state pension with the deposits being made in her UK building society (Halifax) account. The time has come where she needs to close out the Halifax account and have the pension funds deposited into her US banking account. I cannot seem to find online the DWP form she would need to complete to have her pension deposited in the US. Can someone please direct me or offer some advice? Also, is there a way I can assist her here in the States to close out the Halifax account or will that require that we travel to a Halifax branch to close it out? My mom and I have been going over to the UK every two years and physically withdrawing funds from her Halifax account but that has become an impractical with her declining health and advancing age.

Any advice/direction is greatly appreciated!
I do not think there is any form available on-line to change bank accounts. You would need to contact the International Pension Centre. You are probably aware of this but the main on-line details are here: https://www.gov.uk/state-pension-if-you-retire-abroad This gives the Pension Centre contact details.

Another way of transferring money (rather than actually travel to the UK) is to use a money transfer service such as Transferwise.

Your Mom should be able to close the UK account by mail: https://www.halifax.co.uk/bankaccoun...31408153672981

You will need to resolve what happens to any remaining balance. Also be aware that once the account is closed there is no chance of opening a UK bank account again.
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Old Feb 26th 2018, 7:58 pm
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Default Re: questions about UK pension in the USA

I would strongly advise not closing a UK bank account of a British citizen, unless it's incurring significant fees. You never know when it might come in useful.

Withdrawing cash in the UK to facilitate moving it over here is a crazily inefficient way of doing it, but I guess that's water under the bridge at this point.
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Old Feb 26th 2018, 7:59 pm
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Default Re: questions about UK pension in the USA

If she drafts and appoints you under an English LPA and the LPA is registered once she no longer has capacity, you could then act on her behalf.
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Old Feb 26th 2018, 8:25 pm
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Default Re: questions about UK pension in the USA

Thanks to all of you for the helpful responses! I have been lecturing my mom for years about the inefficiencies of traveling to the UK just to mule money back to the States. I think she finally gets it. I also agree it would be unwise to close the Halifax account. Thank you for the suggestion, MidAtlantic, about Transferwise. Would another possibility be to do a ACH transfer from her Halifax account to her US banking account?
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Old Feb 27th 2018, 2:42 am
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Default Re: questions about UK pension in the USA

You could indeed do a transfer from her Halifax account to US account. The downside to that is almost certainly Halifax would give a lower exchange rate than Transferwise, and charge a higher fee.
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