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UK state pension and USA social security

UK state pension and USA social security

Old Jul 10th 2018, 1:06 pm
  #1546  
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Default Re: UK state pension and USA social security

Originally Posted by Nelbelmom View Post
3, Since beginning work here, in 1986, he continued paying voluntary maximal payments to the UK State Pension until they finally told him he'd paid as much as he needed to. ( I need to find the letter he received that explained this, and get the date he stopped).
Be careful.

If he started contributing around 1966 and was continuous then according to what you say, with voluntary contributions included, he would have reached the maximum benefit in around 1996 (with 30 years of contributions). If that was the case he may not any longer qualify for a full UK pension as they upped the number of years required to 35 (I think). You should check - it is easy to get a statement from them.

I left the UK with 32 years of contributions tucked away and have since had to pay voluntary years to bring my total back to the 'new maximum'.
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Old Jul 10th 2018, 4:00 pm
  #1547  
 
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Default Re: UK state pension and USA social security

Originally Posted by celticgrid View Post
I believe this all changed recently and that it is no longer the case. UK state pensions are now paid based solely on contributions by the individual. Happy to be corrected as our household would benefit if what you state was still the case!
I thought that but didn't comment as I wondered as he is 68 he qualified for his pension three years ago, but deferred it. As he was 65 when a wife could claim a pension based on her husbands contributions I wondered if that grandfather them in. Guess it depends "who" told them as to the accuracy of the information.
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Old Jul 10th 2018, 4:44 pm
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Default Re: UK state pension and USA social security

Originally Posted by celticgrid View Post
I believe this all changed recently and that it is no longer the case. UK state pensions are now paid based solely on contributions by the individual. Happy to be corrected as our household would benefit if what you state was still the case!
It did change (sigh...) but I suspect this person's spouse is old enough that they qualify under the old rules.

Last edited by Giantaxe; Jul 10th 2018 at 4:54 pm.
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Old Jul 10th 2018, 6:56 pm
  #1549  
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Default Re: UK state pension and USA social security

We are both 68, he qualified in mid-2015, but deferred collecting. So perhaps we are grandfathered in? I guess we'll find out. The last confirmation he had to confirm I would receive a spousal pension was from the Dept. of Works & Pensions in Woverhampton, May of 2016. That confirmed a letter he received back in 2005. I do feel a bit weird about it, although the US system needs correcting as well. Currently any divorcees of a male or female, who were married for at least 10 years, at the age of 61 can claim spousal support based on their ex husbands SS plan. And it doesn't detract from his own benefits. And this could apply equally to multiple ex-wives. And they don't need to be citizens, they just need a social security card. And they can even be remarried. It's only worth it if your ex was so well paid that your spousal support from him is worth more than that you would get from spousal support from your current husband, or from your own full social security benefit, or because you want to use it for income while you defer collecting your own social security for a few years longer. And on top of that, if the ex-husband is married when he dies, even if they were married for just a year, if his widow is 61 or older, she can claim widows benefits from her late husbands social security. For obvious reasons, the administration does not shout this information in the streets, so few people actually know about it.

Meanwhile, as I suspected, my husband only has what the US SSA lists as "Substantial Income" from 1986 to 1994.
That's only 8 years.
From 1995 to 2017, because self employed income allows you to deduct business expenses and reduce your taxes, he does not meet the required minimum to have "Substantial Income".

Meanwhile on the UK end. Is there an equivalent to the US social security site where one can log in and review all of your past payments and get accurate information?

Thus far, as best I can determine from his file of letters and receipts and forms:
He "paid Graduated National Insurance before 1975". They don't mention a start date, but he says he began work as an apprentice in 1966.
I am guessing that they changed the system after that year?
From that point on, as best I can figure out:
From 1976 to 1989, it appears that he paid UK Class 1 State Pension contributions through his British employer.
From 1990 to 2010 he paid UK Class 3 State Pension contributions voluntarily, while working in the US.

Meanwhile, on the US social security end:
1985 to 1994, he met their "Substantial Income" minimum, but that's only 8 years.
From 1995 to 2017 he's been below the "Substantial Income" minimum, and that is unlikely to change in future.

From 1990, or slightly earlier, to at least 2010, he was paying voluntary pension payments to the UK State Pension.
So, that would leave 2011 to 2017 that he was not paying voluntary payments.
UGH!
My head hurts.
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Old Jul 10th 2018, 7:05 pm
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Default Re: UK state pension and USA social security

My wife and I registered online with HMRC a few years ago to see our NI record and pension estimate.

https://www.gov.uk/government/organi...evenue-customs

you probably need to create a government gateway account

https://www.gov.uk/government-gateway
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Old Jul 10th 2018, 7:09 pm
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Default Re: UK state pension and USA social security

Originally Posted by Nelbelmom View Post


Meanwhile on the UK end. Is there an equivalent to the US social security site where one can log in and review all of your past payments and get accurate information?
As you husband deferred his pension you can't do so online. Instructions you need are here. https://www.gov.uk/international-pension-centre

Last edited by lansbury; Jul 10th 2018 at 7:25 pm.
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Old Jul 10th 2018, 7:46 pm
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Default Re: UK state pension and USA social security

Looking online, it looks like he qualifies for the "Old State Pension" which retains the rules for those born on or before April 6th, 1951. He was born in June 1950, and I was born in October 1950.

"A new State Pension was introduced on 6 April 2016 for people reaching State Pension age on or after that date. This applies to: men born on or after 6 April 1951, women born on or after 6 April 1953. If you were born before these dates, you remain on the old pre-2016 State Pension."

Wow.,...who knew. Purely a fluke of timing.

Lansbury, and Durham Lad, Thank you for the link information!

He has a personalized summary from 2016 from the UK office, but unlike the printed US social security updates that are sent by snail mail to those approaching retirement age in the US, it doesn't list per year payments from day one. The UK update just mentioned benefit amounts.

Thanks ALL
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Old Jul 11th 2018, 6:11 am
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Default Re: UK state pension and USA social security

Originally Posted by Nelbelmom View Post
Meanwhile, as I suspected, my husband only has what the US SSA lists as "Substantial Income" from 1986 to 1994.
That's only 8 years.
From 1995 to 2017, because self employed income allows you to deduct business expenses and reduce your taxes, he does not meet the required minimum to have "Substantial Income".
Are you sure he's below the minimum for all those years? For example, the minimum to get credited with a quarter for 2016 was $1260 in a quarter, i.e. not much. If he really does have only 10 years where he had a high enough income to get SS credits, then he will get WEP'd on the part of his UK pension attributable to working in the UK.
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Old Jul 12th 2018, 5:03 am
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Default Re: UK state pension and USA social security

Wow, Giantaxe, can you post the link that you are using for that information? I would really appreciate it
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Old Jul 12th 2018, 8:55 am
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Default Re: UK state pension and USA social security

Originally Posted by Giantaxe View Post
Are you sure he's below the minimum for all those years? For example, the minimum to get credited with a quarter for 2016 was $1260 in a quarter, i.e. not much. If he really does have only 10 years where he had a high enough income to get SS credits, then he will get WEP'd on the part of his UK pension attributable to working in the UK.
The amount needed to get credited with SS credits and the amount needed to count a year for WEP exemption (called "substantial" earnings) are different. The latter used to be, I think, around $20,000, and may be more now.
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Old Jul 12th 2018, 4:00 pm
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Default Re: UK state pension and USA social security

Originally Posted by vespucci View Post
The amount needed to get credited with SS credits and the amount needed to count a year for WEP exemption (called "substantial" earnings) are different. The latter used to be, I think, around $20,000, and may be more now.
This leaflet has a table listing what the substantial earning is for each year going back to 1937. https://www.ssa.gov/pubs/EN-05-10045.pdf
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Old Jul 12th 2018, 5:27 pm
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Default Re: UK state pension and USA social security

Originally Posted by lansbury View Post
This leaflet has a table listing what the substantial earning is for each year going back to 1937. https://www.ssa.gov/pubs/EN-05-10045.pdf
Interesting.. I wasn't aware that there is a difference between the amount needed to get an SS credit and the yearly amount needed to count as a year against potential WEPing. So I wonder how that substantial earnings number is calculated? Some relationship to average income, perhaps?

Another weird consequence of this is that it means that it might actually be beneficial for a self-employed person to make sure their income is over the "substantial earnings" number (for example, by not claiming some business deductions that they could). They'll pay more income and self employment tax, of course, but the flip side is that they may get WEP'd less.

Last edited by Giantaxe; Jul 12th 2018 at 5:36 pm.
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Old Jul 12th 2018, 8:28 pm
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Default Re: UK state pension and USA social security

Originally Posted by Giantaxe View Post
Interesting.. I wasn't aware that there is a difference between the amount needed to get an SS credit and the yearly amount needed to count as a year against potential WEPing. So I wonder how that substantial earnings number is calculated? Some relationship to average income, perhaps?

Another weird consequence of this is that it means that it might actually be beneficial for a self-employed person to make sure their income is over the "substantial earnings" number (for example, by not claiming some business deductions that they could). They'll pay more income and self employment tax, of course, but the flip side is that they may get WEP'd less.
I suspect you'd always come out behind doing this, but in any case my understanding is that what you suggest is actually illegal, and you are required to include all possible business expenses.
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Old Jul 13th 2018, 12:11 am
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Default Re: UK state pension and USA social security

Originally Posted by Owen778 View Post
I suspect you'd always come out behind doing this, but in any case my understanding is that what you suggest is actually illegal, and you are required to include all possible business expenses.
I'd disagree with that. Having less than 20 years and being fully WEP'd could make a huge difference from having 30 and not being WEP'd at all. And that WEPing would happen for each and every year that one receives SS as opposed to a one off payment of additional tax.

Interesting point about being required to take all possible business expenses; I couldn't find anything to back up that assertion though.
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Old Jul 13th 2018, 1:36 am
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Default Re: UK state pension and USA social security

Originally Posted by Giantaxe View Post
Interesting point about being required to take all possible business expenses; I couldn't find anything to back up that assertion though.
I'm sure I'd read it from a pretty reliable source, possibly the IRS, but I couldn't find it on publication 535, which would be the most obvious place: https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p535.pdf

On a quick search, I found a couple of statements saying you must take all business deductions, but nothing I'd consider definitive:
https://www.nafcc.org/Must-I-Claim-Allowable-Deductions I don't think their links have the general implications they think they do.
https://www.cnbc.com/2017/10/31/smal...-worth-it.html No link to say where this comes from.

So, maybe?
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