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UK state pension and USA social security

UK state pension and USA social security

Old Feb 4th 2014, 5:12 pm
  #196  
 
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Default Re: UK state pension and USA social security

Originally Posted by Westham View Post
So correct me if I'm wrong I can claim my UK pension this year when I turn 65 in April, I will not have my 30 years US SS in until 2015. If I claim my SS then in 2015 and my UK pension this year I will still be free and clear of the WEP condition?
That is my understanding. Providing you do not claim your SS until you have 30 years contributions, nothing else triggers the WEP.

I would suggest instead of relying on information from the UK, call SS and double check if it makes for feel more comfortable about claiming your UK pension.
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Old Feb 4th 2014, 5:16 pm
  #197  
 
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Default Re: UK state pension and USA social security

Originally Posted by dunroving View Post
These sorts of threads pop up quite regularly and I am always surprised how rarely someone responds to say "When I retired and claimed SS, this is what happened to me"

Maybe we are all too young to have retired, or the retirees are having too much fun to read BE any more.
We could have claimed 2 years ago, but decided to wait until Mrs L was 66. She is 64 this year and we sort of looked to see what the difference was if she claimed this year. But as we have no idea other than my pension will be somewhere from nothing (thanks to possible GPO deduction) to 50% of hers, it makes deciding a crap shoot.
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Old Feb 5th 2014, 2:48 pm
  #198  
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Default Re: UK state pension and USA social security

Originally Posted by lansbury View Post
That is my understanding. Providing you do not claim your SS until you have 30 years contributions, nothing else triggers the WEP.

I would suggest instead of relying on information from the UK, call SS and double check if it makes for feel more comfortable about claiming your UK pension.

Thanks for your response.
Interesting, I will call SS and ask the question and post the information on this board.
Thanks.
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Old Feb 5th 2014, 3:39 pm
  #199  
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Default Re: UK state pension and USA social security

Originally Posted by Westham View Post
Thanks for your response.
Interesting, I will call SS and ask the question and post the information on this board.
Thanks.
Can you email them?

I always think for things this important, it's best to have a written record.
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Old Feb 5th 2014, 9:14 pm
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Default Re: UK state pension and USA social security

Originally Posted by dunroving View Post
Can you email them?

I always think for things this important, it's best to have a written record.
I'm not sure if I can email this question but I can tell you I did speak with a lady on the telephone at social security and she said it does not matter how many years you have vested in SS in the USA you will be hit with a WEP when you declare your overseas pension income, she clearly did not understand what I was trying to gain information about so I've put that down to a wasted half hour, I will try again and hopefully speak with a person who has more knowledge on this subject or I may even visit a local social security office.
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Old Feb 5th 2014, 9:22 pm
  #201  
 
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Default Re: UK state pension and USA social security

Originally Posted by Westham View Post
I'm not sure if I can email this question but I can tell you I did speak with a lady on the telephone at social security and she said it does not matter how many years you have vested in SS in the USA you will be hit with a WEP when you declare your overseas pension income, she clearly did not understand what I was trying to gain information about so I've put that down to a wasted half hour, I will try again and hopefully speak with a person who has more knowledge on this subject or I may even visit a local social security office.
The people on the phone helpline are not very knowledgeable. They told me I couldn't claim medicare on my spouses SS contributions. The local office enrolled me in medicare without any problems.
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Old Feb 5th 2014, 9:47 pm
  #202  
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Default Re: UK state pension and USA social security

Originally Posted by Westham View Post
I'm not sure if I can email this question but I can tell you I did speak with a lady on the telephone at social security and she said it does not matter how many years you have vested in SS in the USA you will be hit with a WEP when you declare your overseas pension income, she clearly did not understand what I was trying to gain information about so I've put that down to a wasted half hour, I will try again and hopefully speak with a person who has more knowledge on this subject or I may even visit a local social security office.
You can have a shot at working it out yourself reading the WEP rules and calculation from their website.

http://www.ssa.gov/pubs/EN-05-10045.pdf
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Old Feb 5th 2014, 11:22 pm
  #203  
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Default Re: UK state pension and USA social security

Am I not right in thinking that WEP caps out at something like 700 USD income from foreign pension sources? In other words anything over 700 USD / month coming from foreign pension sources will not further decrease my US SS payments?
So Foreign pension equaling $700 /month gets a WEP SS reduction by 'x' dollars, but foreign pension income at $200,000 / month gets a WEP SS reduction of the same 'x' dollars. The WEP effect is capped. The latter figure is purely for illustration purposes only....in my case at least.
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Old Feb 6th 2014, 1:58 am
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Default Re: UK state pension and USA social security

Originally Posted by iceflow View Post
Am I not right in thinking that WEP caps out at something like 700 USD income from foreign pension sources? In other words anything over 700 USD / month coming from foreign pension sources will not further decrease my US SS payments?
So Foreign pension equaling $700 /month gets a WEP SS reduction by 'x' dollars, but foreign pension income at $200,000 / month gets a WEP SS reduction of the same 'x' dollars. The WEP effect is capped. The latter figure is purely for illustration purposes only....in my case at least.
Yes, there is a cap, $408/month max for 2014.

http://www.socialsecurity.gov/retire2/wep-chart.htm
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Old Feb 6th 2014, 9:57 am
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Default Re: UK state pension and USA social security

Originally Posted by iceflow View Post
Am I not right in thinking that WEP caps out at something like 700 USD income from foreign pension sources? In other words anything over 700 USD / month coming from foreign pension sources will not further decrease my US SS payments?
So Foreign pension equaling $700 /month gets a WEP SS reduction by 'x' dollars, but foreign pension income at $200,000 / month gets a WEP SS reduction of the same 'x' dollars. The WEP effect is capped. The latter figure is purely for illustration purposes only....in my case at least.
From reading the dozens (probably 100's) of posts debating how WEP is calculated, most of which were helpful but to my addled brain confusing, I think by far the best way to get an idea of how it will affect you is to play with the WEP calculator.
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Old Feb 6th 2014, 3:15 pm
  #206  
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Default Re: UK state pension and USA social security

Originally Posted by lansbury View Post
The people on the phone helpline are not very knowledgeable. They told me I couldn't claim medicare on my spouses SS contributions. The local office enrolled me in medicare without any problems.
I will 2nd that, after my 2nd attempt to ask what I consider a straight forward question about what triggers wep "can I claim my British pension without incurring wep until I claim my US SS" I was on the phone for over 1 hour with a SS employee who kept talking about 90% (90% or what I still do not know) and then decided wep does not come into play with a British pension and told me to read International Programs, Totalization Agreement With the United Kingdom" Having read this it seems that this agreement is for persons working in both the USA and UK and paid SS taxes in the same time period? It appears to me that this person again did not understand and could not answer my question. I hope that the majority of people on this board are correct in thinking that their UK pension earned from the years prior to living and working in the USA is subject to wep and is not bundled together with their USA SS and that if they have 30 years of SS wep does not apply and all they need do is pay IRS taxes on it as income?
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Old Feb 6th 2014, 3:40 pm
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Default Re: UK state pension and USA social security

Originally Posted by Westham View Post
I will 2nd that, after my 2nd attempt to ask what I consider a straight forward question about what triggers wep "can I claim my British pension without incurring wep until I claim my US SS" I was on the phone for over 1 hour with a SS employee who kept talking about 90% (90% or what I still do not know) and then decided wep does not come into play with a British pension and told me to read International Programs, Totalization Agreement With the United Kingdom" Having read this it seems that this agreement is for persons working in both the USA and UK and paid SS taxes in the same time period? It appears to me that this person again did not understand and could not answer my question. I hope that the majority of people on this board are correct in thinking that their UK pension earned from the years prior to living and working in the USA is subject to wep and is not bundled together with their USA SS and that if they have 30 years of SS wep does not apply and all they need do is pay IRS taxes on it as income?
The 90% thing is explained on the SS website, as well as foreign pensions being included. However, as you say, maybe the International Programs, Totalization Agreement With the United Kingdom comes into play, but I'm not counting on it.

http://www.ssa.gov/pubs/EN-05-10045.pdf


Windfall Elimination Provision 2014

Your Social Security retirement or
disability benefits may be reduced
If you work for an employer who does not
withhold Social Security taxes from your
salary, such as a government agency or an
employer in another country, any pension you
get based on that work may reduce your Social
Security benefits.

Social Security benefits are based on the
worker’s average monthly earnings adjusted
for
inflation. We separate your average earnings
into three amounts and multiply the
amounts
using three factors. For example, for a worker
who turns 62 in 2014, the first $816 of average
monthly earnings is multiplied by 90
percent;
the next $4,101 by 32 percent; and the remainder
by 15
percent.
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Old Feb 6th 2014, 5:10 pm
  #208  
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Default Re: UK state pension and USA social security

Originally Posted by durham_lad View Post
The 90% thing is explained on the SS website, as well as foreign pensions being included. However, as you say, maybe the International Programs, Totalization Agreement With the United Kingdom comes into play, but I'm not counting on it.

http://www.ssa.gov/pubs/EN-05-10045.pdf
OK, there is the 90% rule thanks, but then there is the cap currently $408.00 for 2014.
I'm reading the Years of substantial earnings chart on the SS web site and it shows a person like myself reaching 62 years of age in 2011 and allowing for 29 years current substantial earnings my wep maxis out at $37.50 per month, if I wait for another year and have 30 years it is $0.00 taking all of this into consideration if I claim SS today am I correct in thinking my US SS would be reduced by $37.50 per month and I get to keep my UK pension and only have to pay income tax to the IRS on it?
Most everyone on this forum seems to relate to the WEP situation rather than the International Agreement program with the UK.
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Old Feb 6th 2014, 5:27 pm
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Default Re: UK state pension and USA social security

Originally Posted by Westham View Post
OK, there is the 90% rule thanks, but then there is the cap currently $408.00 for 2014.
They are effectively the same thing. The maximum WEP is 50% of the 90% factor earnings, i.e. 50% of $816.

Originally Posted by Westham View Post
I'm reading the Years of substantial earnings chart on the SS web site and it shows a person like myself reaching 62 years of age in 2011 and allowing for 29 years current substantial earnings my wep maxis out at $37.50 per month, if I wait for another year and have 30 years it is $0.00 taking all of this into consideration if I claim SS today am I correct in thinking my US SS would be reduced by $37.50 per month and I get to keep my UK pension and only have to pay income tax to the IRS on it?
Correct. The WEP phases out from 20 to 30 years of substantial SS earnings, no longer applying for those with 30 or more. You get to "keep" your UK pension regardless of how much - or little - your US SS is WEPd.
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Old Feb 6th 2014, 7:29 pm
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Default Re: UK state pension and USA social security

I'm dreading talking to SS as I predict I'm going to come away more confused than I started.

I worked in the UK for 13 years as a British citizen before then moving to the US as a Resident Alien and then worked an additional 13 years.

So in the years that I worked in the UK I had nothing to do with America. It was only after I finished work that I married and became a Resident Alien in the US. I understand that I will have to pay US taxes on my UK Pension but I still don't understand why my US SS is subject being WEPd.
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