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Retirement - US Soc Sec, UK Nat Ins, and the Totalization Agreement

Retirement - US Soc Sec, UK Nat Ins, and the Totalization Agreement

Old Dec 10th 2010, 10:43 pm
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Default Retirement - US Soc Sec, UK Nat Ins, and the Totalization Agreement

This is one for all of you who have returned, or will return, from a lengthy stay in the US.

Here is what I believe is correct:

Accruing at least 40 quarters of US Soc Sec makes you eligible for a US "state pension". The amount depends on how much you paid in (not only for how many years, but how much each year - people who had higher salaries get more security pension).

Accruing 30 years of UK NI payments makes you eligible for a full UK state pension. No matter what your salary was, or whether you paid in for 30 or 45 years, you get the same amount of pension.

The US-UK totalization agreement allows you to use US SS payments to gain credit towards UK NI/pension payments, and vice versa.

I have two (no, three!) questions for anyone who has experience or knowledge in this area:

Do you have to be a US citizen or LPR to claim US state pension? I accrued my 40 quarters of US SS, and recently have read a few posts saying you can only get US state pension if you are a USC or LPR ...

If you use US SS payments to contribute towards UK NI accrual, how is the "transfer value" calculated?

If you already have 30 years of UK NI payments, wouldn't "transferring" US SS payments make no difference to your UK state pension (because you are already at the 30 years needed for a full pension?)

I have other questions, but I'll hold off and wait for answers, thanks in advance.
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Old Dec 10th 2010, 10:58 pm
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Default Re: Retirement - US Soc Sec, UK Nat Ins, and the Totalization Agreement

Originally Posted by dunroving View Post
This is one for all of you who have returned, or will return, from a lengthy stay in the US.

Here is what I believe is correct:

Accruing at least 40 quarters of US Soc Sec makes you eligible for a US "state pension". The amount depends on how much you paid in (not only for how many years, but how much each year - people who had higher salaries get more security pension).

Accruing 30 years of UK NI payments makes you eligible for a full UK state pension. No matter what your salary was, or whether you paid in for 30 or 45 years, you get the same amount of pension.

The US-UK totalization agreement allows you to use US SS payments to gain credit towards UK NI/pension payments, and vice versa.

I have two (no, three!) questions for anyone who has experience or knowledge in this area:

Do you have to be a US citizen or LPR to claim US state pension? I accrued my 40 quarters of US SS, and recently have read a few posts saying you can only get US state pension if you are a USC or LPR ...

If you use US SS payments to contribute towards UK NI accrual, how is the "transfer value" calculated?

If you already have 30 years of UK NI payments, wouldn't "transferring" US SS payments make no difference to your UK state pension (because you are already at the 30 years needed for a full pension?)

I have other questions, but I'll hold off and wait for answers, thanks in advance.
From what I could tell from the Social Security site under the "living outside the Us" section, it says If you are a US citizen you are eligable to collect SS . They have a question and answer section too. I will check into it more for you when I have time.

Jackie
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Old Dec 11th 2010, 1:56 pm
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Default Re: Retirement - US Soc Sec, UK Nat Ins, and the Totalization Agreement

I honestly don't know, but there must be a way to find out. Have you looked at the Social Security Administration's website?
I saw this on there:
The annual retirement test

Under certain conditions, work performed outside the United States by U.S. citizens or residents is covered by the U.S. Social Security program. If your work is covered by U.S. Social Security, the same annual retirement test that applies to people in the United States applies to you.

NOTE: Work by some U.S. citizens and residents outside the United States is exempt from U.S. Social Security as a result of international Social Security agreements the United States has concluded with the following countries:

Australia
Austria
Belgium
Canada
Chile
Czech Republic
Denmark
Finland
France
Germany
Greece
Ireland
Italy
Japan
Korea (South)
Luxembourg
Netherlands
Norway
Poland
Portugal
Spain
Sweden
Switzerland
United Kingdom

(This list of countries is subject to change from time to time. For the latest information, please visit http://www.socialsecurity.gov/intern...untrylist5.htm or contact your nearest U.S. Social Security office, U.S. Embassy or consulate.)

You might want to contact the US Embassy in the UK (I think you are in Scotland - don't know if there is one there or not - you might have to contact the Embassy in London).
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Old Dec 11th 2010, 2:00 pm
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Default Re: Retirement - US Soc Sec, UK Nat Ins, and the Totalization Agreement

Sorry - I just re-read what I posted and it does mention US Citizens and residents (I assume that means if you have a Green card). I think you mentioned you never got a green card. It doesn't seem right though, if when you lived in the US and had SS contributions deducted from your pay check and then can't claim them at retirement. It might be worth contacting the US Embassy. Life can be complicated when you work in two different countries, that's for sure.
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Old Dec 29th 2010, 2:42 am
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Default Re: Retirement - US Soc Sec, UK Nat Ins, and the Totalization Agreement

I am returning to the UK in June, am British and have a permanent residdent card, which I don't intend to renew. The social security administration here said that as I have worked and I am have earned enough credits for SS, I am not required to be a US citizen or continue with residency when I leave. I earned it, so I am entitled, was the answer I got, from a live person on the phone,

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Old Dec 29th 2010, 2:44 am
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Default Re: Retirement - US Soc Sec, UK Nat Ins, and the Totalization Agreement

I intend to call again and get another opinion and ask where in their policy can I find this. Then I repost
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Old Dec 29th 2010, 3:11 am
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Default Re: Retirement - US Soc Sec, UK Nat Ins, and the Totalization Agreement

This post going on over in the US section may be of interest to you. If you click on some of the links it gives more detail.
http://britishexpats.com/forum/showthread.php?t=698378

From what I can gather, so long as you are eligible, (paid 40 quarters) then you can be paid in certain counties, UK being one of them.
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Old Dec 29th 2010, 3:07 pm
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Default Re: Retirement - US Soc Sec, UK Nat Ins, and the Totalization Agreement

Originally Posted by dunroving View Post
This is one for all of you who have returned, or will return, from a lengthy stay in the US.

Here is what I believe is correct:

Accruing at least 40 quarters of US Soc Sec makes you eligible for a US "state pension". The amount depends on how much you paid in (not only for how many years, but how much each year - people who had higher salaries get more security pension). This is also as I understand it
[/B][/B][/COLOR]
Accruing 30 years of UK NI payments makes you eligible for a full UK state pension. No matter what your salary was, or whether you paid in for 30 or 45 years, you get the same amount of pension.This is also as I understand it

The US-UK totalization agreement allows you to use US SS payments to gain credit towards UK NI/pension payments, and vice versa.

I have two (no, three!) questions for anyone who has experience or knowledge in this area:

Do you have to be a US citizen or LPR to claim US state pension? I accrued my 40 quarters of US SS, and recently have read a few posts saying you can only get US state pension if you are a USC or LPR ...
This is not clear in anything I have ever read
http://www.ssa.gov/pubs/10035.html states
[SIZE="1.5"]How do you sign up for Social Security?
You can apply for retirement benefits online at www.socialsecurity.gov or you can call our toll-free number, 1-800-772-1213. Or you can make an appointment to visit any Social Security office to apply in person.
Depending on your circumstances, you will need some or all of the documents listed below. But do not delay applying for benefits because you do not have all the information. If you do not have a document you need, we can help you get it.
Information needed:
* Your Social Security number;
* Your birth certificate;
* Your W-2 forms or self-employment tax return for last year;
* Your military ­discharge papers if you had military service;
* Your spouse’s birth certificate and Social Security number if he or she is applying for benefits;
* Children’s birth certificates and Social Security numbers, if you are applying for children’s benefits;
* Proof of U.S. citizenship or lawful alien status if you (or a spouse or child applying for benefits) were not born in the United States;
* The name of your financial institution, the routing number and your account number, so your benefits can be deposited directly into your account.
You will need to submit original documents or copies certified by the issuing office. You can mail or bring them to Social Security. We will make photocopies and return your documents.[/SIZE]


I include the whole para for context, for the *Proof of... presumably your previous legal residence status should be sufficient.

But in http://www.ssa.gov/pubs/10137.html I read
If you are a citizen of one of the countries listed below, Social Security payments will keep coming no matter how long you stay outside the United States, as long as you are eligible for the payments.
.....
* United Kingdom
...
but again there are those creepy words, if you are eligible'

maybe just maybe in the absence of anything saying you cannot qualify because of lack USA status then maybe you are eligible.


If you use US SS payments to contribute towards UK NI accrual, how is the "transfer value" calculated?
sorry, I don't know this

If you already have 30 years of UK NI payments, wouldn't "transferring" US SS payments make no difference to your UK state pension (because you are already at the 30 years needed for a full pension?) I agree it doesn't make sense, you cannot get increased UK pension by transfer in (or by paying more years while in UK), - so if you have the USA 40 credits (and qualify) then it makes sense to take the US and the UK pensions separately [with US Windfall Elimination Provision consequences]

I have other questions, but I'll hold off and wait for answers, thanks in advance.
This all interests me, I/we are USC with 40 credits plus UKC with 30 yrs contributions. However, the rules will be the rules and not much we can do about it but I am interested in anticipating what I may or may not get.
maybe the only way to get an answer to OP q. on US status is direct from an US official.

Last edited by J.J; Dec 29th 2010 at 3:40 pm.
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Old Dec 29th 2010, 3:23 pm
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Default Re: Retirement - US Soc Sec, UK Nat Ins, and the Totalization Agreement

Originally Posted by Mummy in the foothills View Post
This post going on over in the US section may be of interest to you. If you click on some of the links it gives more detail.
http://britishexpats.com/forum/showthread.php?t=698378

From what I can gather, so long as you are eligible, (paid 40 quarters) then you can be paid in certain counties, UK being one of them.
Certainly from all I read, you can receive your SS payments in the UK provided one is eligible for the benefit, but what is 'eligible' is the scary part .

I am USC so no question that I expect to be eligible, but what of those that for some reason or other are not USC / legal residents when they come of age I never have found a definitive written answer to this question (and is one of the reasons that I became USC, to be better eligible, although no guarantee either way)
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Old Dec 29th 2010, 3:41 pm
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Default Re: Retirement - US Soc Sec, UK Nat Ins, and the Totalization Agreement

Originally Posted by J.J View Post
This all interests me, I/we are USC with 40 credits plus UKC with 30 yrs contributions. However, the rules will be the rules and not much we can do about it but I am interested in anticipating what I may or may not get.
Thanks, this is all helpful, and serves to underline (literally, the section you underlined) the ambiguity regarding eligibility of non-USC/LPR to receive US social security pension - as on the other thread (linked in a couple of posts above), a US gov't document is referenced that implies non-USC/LPR's from the UK are eligible to receive US soc sec pension (subject to sufficient quarters being paid, of course).

What the heck, by the time I retire the rules will probably have been changed anyway.
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Old Dec 29th 2010, 3:49 pm
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Default Re: Retirement - US Soc Sec, UK Nat Ins, and the Totalization Agreement

Originally Posted by J.J View Post
Certainly from all I read, you can receive your SS payments in the UK provided one is eligible for the benefit, but what is 'eligible' is the scary part .

I am USC so no question that I expect to be eligible, but what of those that for some reason or other are not USC / legal residents when they come of age I never have found a definitive written answer to this question (and is one of the reasons that I became USC, to be better eligible, although no guarantee either way)
That was one reason Dh pushed the issue of citizenship for me too. Better safe than sorry.
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Old Dec 29th 2010, 3:52 pm
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Default Re: Retirement - US Soc Sec, UK Nat Ins, and the Totalization Agreement

Originally Posted by dunroving View Post
Thanks, this is all helpful, and serves to underline (literally, the section you underlined) the ambiguity regarding eligibility of non-USC/LPR to receive US social security pension - as on the other thread (linked in a couple of posts above), a US gov't document is referenced that implies non-USC/LPR's from the UK are eligible to receive US soc sec pension (subject to sufficient quarters being paid, of course).

What the heck, by the time I retire the rules will probably have been changed anyway.
I have one thought Dunroving. Did you inform the SS admin of your new address in the UK? We get SS statements annually for Dh and myself, it says on you have paid enough to be eligible for SS and says how much and if you are eligible for Medicare also.
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Old Dec 29th 2010, 4:09 pm
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Default Re: Retirement - US Soc Sec, UK Nat Ins, and the Totalization Agreement

Originally Posted by Mummy in the foothills View Post
I have one thought Dunroving. Did you inform the SS admin of your new address in the UK? We get SS statements annually for Dh and myself, it says on you have paid enough to be eligible for SS and says how much and if you are eligible for Medicare also.
I didn't even think about that - but I don't think they have been sending them to my past (US) address either - I have kept in touch with the person who bought my house and she hasn't ever received any mail for me.

Looks like it's not possible to do this online, so will try calling them ...

http://www.socialsecurity.gov/pubs/10028.html
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Old Dec 29th 2010, 4:15 pm
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Default Re: Retirement - US Soc Sec, UK Nat Ins, and the Totalization Agreement

Originally Posted by Mummy in the foothills View Post
I have one thought Dunroving. Did you inform the SS admin of your new address in the UK? We get SS statements annually for Dh and myself, it says on you have paid enough to be eligible for SS and says how much and if you are eligible for Medicare also.
The USA SS Retirement benefit statements are good to get, particularly since we are back in UK and not contributing to US SS it will be interesting to see how our forecast changes as we make no further payments.

When we came back I mailed the SS Admin to give new address as I thought we were supposed to - but got a letter back from them to say they didn't care to know as I am not yet receiving any SS benefit.

The letter (if I find it I will scan it in) went on to say they get your current address from IRS for purpose of mailing statements and any other SS matter prior to an individual making benefits claim. It is only when you apply and then receive that they need to directly know of address changes. Go figure.

Last edited by J.J; Dec 29th 2010 at 5:24 pm.
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Old Dec 29th 2010, 4:52 pm
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Default Re: Retirement - US Soc Sec, UK Nat Ins, and the Totalization Agreement

Originally Posted by J.J View Post
These are good statements to get, particularly since we are back in UK and not contributing to US SS it will be interesting to see how our forecast changes as we make no further payments.

When we came back I mailed the SS Admin to give new address as I thought we were supposed to - but got a letter back from them to say they didn't care to know as I am not yet receiving any SS benefit.

The letter (if I find it I will scan it in) went on to say they get your current address from IRS for purpose of mailing statements and any other SS matter prior to an individual making benefits claim. It is only when you apply and then receive that they need to directly know of address changes. Go figure.
Yes, that seems to be what it says on the site I linked to, also.
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