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UK state pension and USA social security

UK state pension and USA social security

Old Jan 29th 2015, 10:12 pm
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Default Re: UK state pension and USA social security

Originally Posted by Giantaxe View Post
Do a search... iirc, there was one low-income guy from Florida (?) who - incorrectly - claimed he was being WEPed 80% or so of his UK state pension. He was including Medicare premiums in that number, but nevertheless he was a good example of how a lower-income person getting UK state pension and US SS can be hit significantly in relation to their total pension income.
You're correct, I remember that one but damned if I can find it.
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Old Jan 29th 2015, 10:39 pm
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Default Re: UK state pension and USA social security

Originally Posted by theOAP View Post
One last comment, and I will leave you in peace.

The inclusion of the above makes the new State Pension even more like the current S2P, which you're considering to be earnings related.

Under the current S2P, the following people are included:
Employees earning at least £111 a week (in 2014/15).
People caring for one or more child under age 12 for whom they are claiming child benefit.
People claiming carer's allowance.
People claiming certain disability-related benefits.
For most people S2P is earnings related. You could build up S2P credits not connected to income if you were are carer or on long term disability in which cast you'd tell SSA that and argue that WEP doesn't apply.

The new state pension is completely independent of income whereas S2P is connected to your level of income if you earn over a certain threshold.
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Old Jan 29th 2015, 11:48 pm
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Default Re: UK state pension and USA social security

Originally Posted by Giantaxe View Post
Do a search... iirc, there was one low-income guy from Florida (?) who - incorrectly - claimed he was being WEPed 80% or so of his UK state pension. He was including Medicare premiums in that number, but nevertheless he was a good example of how a lower-income person getting UK state pension and US SS can be hit significantly in relation to their total pension income.
iirc? haven't found that Post yet. Also, "WEPed 80%..." does not sound right. Max WEP on foreign pension is 50% of the foreign pension amount.
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Old Jan 30th 2015, 12:08 am
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Default Re: UK state pension and USA social security

Originally Posted by nun View Post
The original basic state pension and the new flat rate pension are work related. In fact for the new pension you don't even have to earn any income as being a carer for someone also qualifies you for contributions. The critical thing to realize is that a pension that is not dependent on your level of earnings is not WEPable. You might have earnings and pay NI on those, but if the pension is independent of the size of those earnings and contributions then you don't include it in WEP.

The online tool I originally linked to seems quite new and might be a response to the recent Spanish case where Spain's residence based pension was judged to not be included in WEP calculations. People that are WEPed on the basic UK state pension have either given inaccurate information to SSA or had the rules incorrectly applied. Remember the SSA does not necessarily know the details of the UK system or your pension history so you have to make sure you do. Being WEPed on additional state pension and private UK pensions is probably correct.

I won't mention my UK flat rate pension to SSA unless I specifically asked and then I will explain why WEP does not apply. It's a non issue for me anyway as my MA state pension will be enough so that I'll have the max WEP applied to my SS anyway. Interestingly on 10 years of contributions my MA pension will be the largest, on 17 years of contribution and after WEP my SS is next and on 35 years of contributions my UK flat rate pension will be the smallest. This is in part because the first two are earnings related, but also because UK state pension is such a small benefit..... Of course you have to factor in the NHS and if your contributions are mostly Class 2, even if the absolute value of the U k pension is small, it's great value for money.
I really hope you are correct. Online tool does sound to be new as I never came across this one before.

AS to <....I won't mention my UK flat rate pension to SSA unless I specifically asked ...>, I am sure, I read somewhere on SSA literature that whenever one receives or start receiving an additional pension ( foreign etc) they are required to notify SSA to that effect. So, not telling them a bit risky. Apparently, it also applies to situations where the individual starts receiving foreign pension later than the Social security retirement (as is my case). So, I guess one has to notify them by way of a letter. But if this calculator is fairly new and based on the discussion we have had on this thread, and answers the last question as NO ( i.e not earnings related....) then probably one need not notify them???
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Old Jan 30th 2015, 12:08 am
  #560  
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Default Re: UK state pension and USA social security

Originally Posted by UK2US1979 View Post
iirc? haven't found that Post yet. Also, "WEPed 80%..." does not sound right. Max WEP on foreign pension is 50% of the foreign pension amount.
Read my post a little more carefully...

Edit: I see dunroving has the same recollection.
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Old Jan 30th 2015, 12:28 am
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Default Re: UK state pension and USA social security

After reading numerous posts on BE, my understanding was a spouse pension based on their partners earnings was not subject to WEP.

Reading this page Retirement Planner: Benefits For Your Spouse it clearly says

If your spouse will receive a pension for work not covered by Social Security such as government or foreign employment, the amount of his or her Social Security benefits on your record may be reduced.
So which is it. Is a spouse pension reduced or not? If you follow the link in the quote it refers to Government Pension Offset, but the quote also refers to foreign employment.
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Old Jan 30th 2015, 11:36 am
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Default Re: UK state pension and USA social security

Originally Posted by lansbury View Post
After reading numerous posts on BE, my understanding was a spouse pension based on their partners earnings was not subject to WEP.

Reading this page Retirement Planner: Benefits For Your Spouse it clearly says

So which is it. Is a spouse pension reduced or not? If you follow the link in the quote it refers to Government Pension Offset, but the quote also refers to foreign employment.
I believe we've been down this road before regards the link to that particular SSA page and the question it raises. I don't believe we were able to come to a conclusive opinion regards an interpretation of the SSA information given on that page, or other pages referenced.

There is a post on page 20 of this thread (post #291) which gives an experience of a spousal pension application. It is not the same exact circumstances as yours since the spouse was an NRA and in the UK and not the US. It is not conclusive.

Unless someone cares to give other experiences, it appears the only way you will have an answer to the question will be when you apply for the spousal pension in the US.

Last edited by theOAP; Jan 30th 2015 at 11:45 am.
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Old Jan 30th 2015, 11:58 am
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Default Re: UK state pension and USA social security

From the various treads, it looks like several of "us" (BE-ers) are due to apply for SS in the next few years. It would be helpful to hear back how it went, especially if you were forewarned and forearmed (as Nun suggested, having the relevant WEP regulations and explaining why, under the regulations, you believe you should not be WEP'ed.

I plan to take SS early, at which point I will likely not be drawing any other pension but be expecting to draw other pensions in the future. I will report back then (another 5 years to go!)

I also have failed to find any common-sense, real-world explanation or FAQs beyond our own conversations and the official line, which as we are all saying, is inconsistent and blurry. Every Google search I run simply comes up with BritishExpats threads on the topic!
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Old Jan 30th 2015, 1:50 pm
  #564  
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Default Re: UK state pension and USA social security

Originally Posted by dunroving View Post
From the various treads, it looks like several of "us" (BE-ers) are due to apply for SS in the next few years. It would be helpful to hear back how it went, especially if you were forewarned and forearmed (as Nun suggested, having the relevant WEP regulations and explaining why, under the regulations, you believe you should not be WEP'ed.

I plan to take SS early, at which point I will likely not be drawing any other pension but be expecting to draw other pensions in the future. I will report back then (another 5 years to go!)

I also have failed to find any common-sense, real-world explanation or FAQs beyond our own conversations and the official line, which as we are all saying, is inconsistent and blurry. Every Google search I run simply comes up with BritishExpats threads on the topic!
I'm right on to that! Heroically volunteering as a guinea pig.

I did a bog standard online application for my SS about four weeks ago. There are a couple of questions (just yes/no boxes) about pensions from non-SS employment. In the free text field at the end of the application, I made a simple statement that I was expecting a private, final salary pension from UK to commence August 2015 and I was expecting my British state pension to commence at some date in the future, TBD.

I checked back on the website a few days later, and they needed me to bring in my Naturalization Certificate to the local office, which I did. While at the interview (well, photocopy session) I asked the lady about WEP, she simply said I should inform them of the actual amounts and starting dates of the pensions closer to the time they commence.

I checked back on the website a couple of days ago, and it stated that a decision had been made and I would be informed by letter in the post, which I'm awaiting.

When I applied online, I requested a start date of April 2015, when I will be 64 and 8 months. I think that is when you get 90% of full SS, or a tad above, can't remember (there's a table online that shows percentage for each month between age 62 and age 70, age 66 being 100%.). When you apply online, you are offered a start date of the next month or a couple of months forward, so in Jan you are offered a start date of Feb, Mar, Apr, I think it was...
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Old Jan 30th 2015, 2:09 pm
  #565  
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Default Re: UK state pension and USA social security

Originally Posted by robin1234 View Post
I did a bog standard online application for my SS about four weeks ago. There are a couple of questions (just yes/no boxes) about pensions from non-SS employment. In the free text field at the end of the application, I made a simple statement that I was expecting a private, final salary pension from UK to commence August 2015 and I was expecting my British state pension to commence at some date in the future, TBD.
I think you need to be specific about how the pensions were funded. Say something like

UK final salary pension that is based on earnings and UK basic state pension that is not earnings related and therefore not subject to WEP as shown by the SSA online tool. You might also reference the Spanish case.
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Old Jan 30th 2015, 2:40 pm
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Default Re: UK state pension and USA social security

Thanks Robin, it's good of you to give us a step by step description of your application. My wife will be applying for hers in 3 years but I currently am not planning to apply for another 10 years.

Interesting that you had to go into the office with your Naturalization Certificate. We've never needed ours as we got US passports on the same day we became USC's (in 1998) and the passports have always worked as proof of citizenship.

Last edited by durham_lad; Jan 30th 2015 at 2:43 pm.
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Old Jan 30th 2015, 2:42 pm
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Default Re: UK state pension and USA social security

Originally Posted by nun View Post
I think you need to be specific about how the pensions were funded. Say something like

UK final salary pension that is based on earnings and UK basic state pension that is not earnings related and therefore not subject to WEP as shown by the SSA online tool. You might also reference the Spanish case.
Also, my British state pension will be based on eighteen years earned credits and ten years of voluntary class II NICs.
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Old Jan 30th 2015, 2:48 pm
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Default Re: UK state pension and USA social security

Originally Posted by durham_lad View Post
Thanks Robin, it's good of you to give us a step by step description of your application. My wife will be applying for hers in 3 years but I currently am not planning to apply for another 10 years.

Interesting that you had to go into the office with your Naturalization Certificate. We've never needed ours as we got US passports on the same day we became USC's (in 1998)
Not sure why the SS cared, certainly it's the first time I've needed the cert since I got it, apart from applying for the passport... but since the Naturalization Certificate was easy to find I didn't mind the fifty mile round trip. I literally drove to the office, had the brief interview, and drove home. My wife refuses to visit that town, because she worked there in a prison for fifteen years and never wants to meet any of her ex "colleagues" again.
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Old Jan 30th 2015, 3:21 pm
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Default Re: UK state pension and USA social security

Originally Posted by robin1234 View Post
Not sure why the SS cared, certainly it's the first time I've needed the cert since I got it, apart from applying for the passport... but since the Naturalization Certificate was easy to find I didn't mind the fifty mile round trip. I literally drove to the office, had the brief interview, and drove home. My wife refuses to visit that town, because she worked there in a prison for fifteen years and never wants to meet any of her ex "colleagues" again.
Very strange indeed, but at least it sounds like it wasn't too big of a deal to turn up with it.
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Old Jan 30th 2015, 3:51 pm
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Default Re: UK state pension and USA social security

Originally Posted by robin1234 View Post


When I applied online, I requested a start date of April 2015, when I will be 64 and 8 months. I think that is when you get 90% of full SS, or a tad above, can't remember (there's a table online that shows percentage for each month between age 62 and age 70, age 66 being 100%.).

Hope this isn't too nosy, but when you are so close to being able to receive the pension at 100%, is it not feasible for you to hold on for the extra few months?
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