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Social security pension abroad?

Social security pension abroad?

Old Sep 10th 2012, 11:06 pm
  #1  
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Default Social security pension abroad?

If I am posting this in the wrong forum please forgive me but I wasnt sure where to put it.

We've been in the states for ten years and over that period OH has paid a lot into the ss system. His bonus' have contributed a lot in that period on top of regular salary.

We are thinking of leaving the US and want to know if he will be able to claim a SS pension in the future abroad? Currently we are not citizens so did not know if that was available to non citizens? We are also thinking of taking citizenship before we leave just to make things easier for SS and kids etc but if this has no bearing on claiming ss pension we might as well not bother. Can we continue to make s contributions while abroad (like you can with NI?)?

I looked on the ss website and it was a bit ambiguous as to whether non citizens could take the ss pension abroad and it was even ambiguous as whether citizens could take the pension abroad.

We have not been paying NI for this period and we do not know whether we will return to the UK directly or another country in Europe.

Thanks in advance
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Old Sep 11th 2012, 2:24 am
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Default Re: Social security pension abroad?

Theres some sort of reciprocal agreement US and UK where you can have the credit from US added to your UK OAP when you retire. You do have to have 40 quarters paid in to be eligible for anything (40 quarters is ten years) I have a link to the agreement but it's not on this laptop so if no one else has it I'll add it later on.
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Old Sep 11th 2012, 12:00 pm
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Default Re: Social security pension abroad?

Thank you. I look forward to receiving! I must've been looking in the wrong place on line.
I did know that there was reciprocity but I wondered if you could take it directly from the US even if you were retired somwhere like tenerife for instance?
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Old Sep 11th 2012, 1:42 pm
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Default Re: Social security pension abroad?

If you don't have enough contributions in one country, you can use contributions in the other as a top up. If you've got enough in both, you can claim both.

US citizens can get their pension abroad. I think LPR's who move abroad can now too, but in the past they couldn't. Worth getting US citizenship first though just in case you fancy coming back to the US.
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Old Sep 11th 2012, 1:57 pm
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Default Re: Social security pension abroad?

As was mentioned, if you have 40 qualified quarters (ten years), you are entitled to your Social Security benefit. Citizenship is not a factor. You can collect the benefit if you are abroad.

International Totalization Agreements: (You won't need this if you have 40 quarters of US contributions. But, it does have contact info at the bottom of the page of the United Kingdom agreement. If you have contributed to the UK, but don't qualify for UK benefits, then the Totalization Agreement can help you gain the UK benefit.)
http://www.ssa.gov/international/agr...iew.html#a0=-1
Click on Spain (Tenerife?) or the UK, or wherever you may be living if they have an agreement.

Additional Information:
http://www.socialsecurity.gov/pubs/10137.html#a0=-1&how=

You can not contribute to US Social Security voluntarily, unlike the voluntary contributions one can make to UK NI.
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Old Sep 11th 2012, 2:05 pm
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Default Re: Social security pension abroad?

Originally Posted by Bob View Post
If you don't have enough contributions in one country, you can use contributions in the other as a top up. If you've got enough in both, you can claim both.
This is only true of certain countries. You cannot do this with Canadian SIN Contributions.
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Old Sep 11th 2012, 2:23 pm
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Default Re: Social security pension abroad?

When calculating the US Social Security benefit, don't forget about WEP (the Windfall Elimination Provision), if you will be receiving a pension from the UK (or elsewhere abroad).
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Old Sep 11th 2012, 3:18 pm
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Default Re: Social security pension abroad?

Thank you, what a helpf bunch of people you are on BE.
what about spouses, can i claim my UD ss benefit if God forbid something happens to the OH?
we havent paid NI for ten years, i thought we had timed out with being able to make contributions.
Does it throw a spanner in the works if he also has a 401k.?
we have 25 / 30 years left to work so were going to try and continue contributing to the 401k even if not resident in us.
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Old Sep 11th 2012, 5:38 pm
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Default Re: Social security pension abroad?

Originally Posted by Adnams View Post
......
we havent paid NI for ten years, i thought we had timed out with being able to make contributions.
............
No, you can still make voluntary contributions. I'd been away from the UK for 20 years when I finally got around to applying to pay voluntary Class 2 Contributions. At that point, you can pay six years arrears in one go, then they will keep you in their records and send you an invitation to pay another year each year in (I think) April or May. Class 2 conts are a good deal, much cheaper, and you qualify if you work abroad (e.g. USA) and if you were working in the UK up to the time you left. As I recall, that is the gist of it anyway..
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Old Sep 11th 2012, 6:02 pm
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Default Re: Social security pension abroad?

Originally Posted by Adnams View Post
we have 25 / 30 years left to work so were going to try and continue contributing to the 401k even if not resident in us.
Typically, that's not possible either for a 401(k) (tied to your employer) or an IRA. You have to have "Income from work performed in the United States" to contribute. Lots of info here:

http://www.overseastaxservices.com/i...d=59&Itemid=59
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Old Sep 11th 2012, 6:52 pm
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Default Re: Social security pension abroad?

Originally Posted by Adnams View Post
what about spouses, can i claim my UD ss benefit if God forbid something happens to the OH?
I'm assuming you are both UK citizens, but not US citizens. (If not, all is not lost; citizens of certain other countries are still entitled.)

On the second link in my first post, you will find several drop downs. To confirm you are entitled to US SS, the 2nd drop down confirms as a citizen of the UK, you're entitled (click on Country list 1, in paragraph 3). As a survivor, you are entitled to survivors benefits (3rd drop down). You meet the requirements since you are on Country List 1. You may also qualify if you have lived as married(?) in the US for 5 years.

Let's see if we can call those up:

2nd drop down: (entitlement)
http://www.socialsecurity.gov/pubs/10137.html#a0=1&how=

3rd drop down: (survivors)
http://www.socialsecurity.gov/pubs/10137.html#a0=2&how=
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Old Sep 11th 2012, 6:53 pm
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Default Re: Social security pension abroad?

Originally Posted by theOAP View Post
As was mentioned, if you have 40 qualified quarters (ten years), you are entitled to your Social Security benefit. Citizenship is not a factor. You can collect the benefit if you are abroad.

International Totalization Agreements: (You won't need this if you have 40 quarters of US contributions. But, it does have contact info at the bottom of the page of the United Kingdom agreement. If you have contributed to the UK, but don't qualify for UK benefits, then the Totalization Agreement can help you gain the UK benefit.)
http://www.ssa.gov/international/agr...iew.html#a0=-1
Click on Spain (Tenerife?) or the UK, or wherever you may be living if they have an agreement.

Additional Information:
http://www.socialsecurity.gov/pubs/10137.html#a0=-1&how=

You can not contribute to US Social Security voluntarily, unlike the voluntary contributions one can make to UK NI.
This is what I was going to link to
Also this one.
http://www.ssa.gov/international/Agr...uk.html#claims

http://www.ssa.gov/international/Agr..._Texts/uk.html

Last edited by Mummy in the foothills; Sep 11th 2012 at 6:58 pm.
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Old Sep 11th 2012, 9:08 pm
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Default Re: Social security pension abroad?

You are all fabulous and I am going to have a good old read of all links once kids in bed.
really glad to learn we can still make voluntary NI contributions. We shall avoid destituoon yet.
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Old Sep 12th 2012, 2:18 am
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Default Re: Social security pension abroad?

You can get SS paid as a non-US citizen. You need to have 40 quarters of SS contributions. If you have less and have NI contributions you can use those to qualify for SS, but the amount of the SS will be calculated only using your SS contributions. Any employer pension you get that is from non-SS earnings and any state pension that is from non-voluntary contributions will be used in the calculation of the Windfall Elimination Provision and will reduce your SS pension. You should see if you want to add to your UK NI record by making retroactive Class 2 voluntary payments, but if you plan to work in the UK for another 30 years it might not be worth it as you only need 30 years of NI to qualify for full state pension.

Becoming US citizens will almost certainly require you to file US taxes every year as well as informational financial forms such as FBAR and will also complicate your foreign financial life as simple foreign investments can sometimes require complex US tax filing. Of course it will make it possible for you to return to the US whenever you like.

If you do not become US citizens make sure you file a I-40& with US Immigration and see if you need to file am 8854 expatriation form with the IRS.

Once you leave your US job you won't be able to contribute to your 401k. Depending on the balance, you should consider rolling it over into an IRA and the maybe even converting it to a ROTH IRA as it's gains and withdrawals are tax free in both the UK and the US. The decision will require some calculations and assumptions about your current and future tax rates.
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Old Sep 12th 2012, 2:28 am
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Default Re: Social security pension abroad?

Originally Posted by nun View Post
You can get SS paid as a non-US citizen. You need to have 40 quarters of SS contributions. If you have less and have NI contributions you can use those to qualify for SS, but the amount of the SS will be calculated only using your SS contributions. Any employer pension you get that is from non-SS earnings and any state pension that is from non-voluntary contributions will be used in the calculation of the Windfall Elimination Provision and will reduce your SS pension. You should see if you want to add to your UK NI record by making retroactive Class 2 voluntary payments, but if you plan to work in the UK for another 30 years it might not be worth it as you only need 30 years of NI to qualify for full state pension.

Becoming US citizens will almost certainly require you to file US taxes every year as well as informational financial forms such as FBAR and will also complicate your foreign financial life as simple foreign investments can sometimes require complex US tax filing. Of course it will make it possible for you to return to the US whenever you like.

If you do not become US citizens make sure you file a I-40& with US Immigration and see if you need to file am 8854 expatriation form with the IRS.

Once you leave your US job you won't be able to contribute to your 401k. Depending on the balance, you should consider rolling it over into an IRA and the maybe even converting it to a ROTH IRA as it's gains and withdrawals are tax free in both the UK and the US. The decision will require some calculations and assumptions about your current and future tax rates.
you're kidding me? if we become USC we have to file a US tax filing, even if we live in outer mongolia. Are we liable to pay US income tax even though a million miles away? Dont they have non domicile tax status? like in the UK?
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