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UK state pension and USA social security

UK state pension and USA social security

Old Apr 22nd 2016, 10:56 pm
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Default Re: UK state pension and USA social security

Originally Posted by Lechtenberg View Post
A number of people have told me they don't report there pensions because the US gov. Takes a chunk of them away. I know it's illegal, but I can't say I blame them.
As far as my being lucky my husband and I have more money than most. It has nothing to do with luck. It has to do with working hard. Both in school and life. We, don't have anything we didn't earn. It wasn't a "windfall". Neither of us came from wealthy families. No one gave us free money. And as far as I'm concerned I didn't pay into the system for it to be given randomly to someone else, who quite possible is in need because they don't want to work. If I want to give some of my hard earned money away I'd rather choose who It goes to so that I can make sure its someone deserving of it.
I certainly think the word "windfall" in WEP is unfortunate, and borderline insulting. I don't like WEP either, my wife and I are both subject to it, in my case because of the British State Pension, in her case because of the British State Pension and a Massachusetts teachers pension.

It's important to note that WEP is nothing to do with being wealthy, though. Folks who are just scraping by on a couple of mediocre pensions could be subject to it, and in their case it could be devastating.
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Old Apr 22nd 2016, 11:05 pm
  #1172  
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Default Re: UK state pension and USA social security

Originally Posted by Lechtenberg View Post
As far as my being lucky my husband and I have more money than most. It has nothing to do with luck. It has to do with working hard. Both in school and life. We, don't have anything we didn't earn. It wasn't a "windfall". Neither of us came from wealthy families. No one gave us free money. And as far as I'm concerned I didn't pay into the system for it to be given randomly to someone else, who quite possible is in need because they don't want to work. If I want to give some of my hard earned money away I'd rather choose who It goes to so that I can make sure its someone deserving of it.
Given your split UK/US record, you'd likely be subject to WEP regardless of your claim to have "more money than most". In fact, given that WEP tries to claw back some of the "bias" in the SS benefit formula towards lower-income recipients, it affects retirees with lower income more.
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Old Apr 22nd 2016, 11:35 pm
  #1173  
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Default Re: UK state pension and USA social security

Originally Posted by lansbury View Post
In your original post you didn't say anything about your husbands SS. How many years has he paid into it, and is he subject to WEP?
No he won't be subject to WEP. He was born in America and has just retired. He's paid SS and all relevant taxes on all his earnings.
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Old Apr 22nd 2016, 11:42 pm
  #1174  
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Default Re: UK state pension and USA social security

Originally Posted by robin1234 View Post
I certainly think the word "windfall" in WEP is unfortunate, and borderline insulting. I don't like WEP either, my wife and I are both subject to it, in my case because of the British State Pension, in her case because of the British State Pension and a Massachusetts teachers pension.

It's important to note that WEP is nothing to do with being wealthy, though. Folks who are just scraping by on a couple of mediocre pensions could be subject to it, and in their case it could be devastating.
I realize you don't have to be wealthy to have great chunks of your pension taken away. I was answering a reply that seemed to imply that as my husband and I had had such good incomes it was ok for the government to take away money we'd earned and give it to someone else. I'm totally in sympathy with you and your wife. It doesn't seem to matter what your left to live on. They take it anyway.
It seems to me this is yet another example of legislators making bad laws that aren't thought through and catch everyone ad hoc in the net.
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Old Apr 22nd 2016, 11:50 pm
  #1175  
 
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Default Re: UK state pension and USA social security

Originally Posted by Lechtenberg View Post
No he won't be subject to WEP. He was born in America and has just retired. He's paid SS and all relevant taxes on all his earnings.
Then you should look into claiming a spouse SS pension based on your husbands' earnings. I claim a spouse pension and it is 50% of my wifes' maximum SS pension.

If 50% of your husbands SS pension is more than your own, my understanding is you receive the higher amount. A spouse pension is not subject to WEP.
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Old Apr 23rd 2016, 1:54 am
  #1176  
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Default Re: UK state pension and USA social security

Originally Posted by lansbury View Post
Then you should look into claiming a spouse SS pension based on your husbands' earnings. I claim a spouse pension and it is 50% of my wifes' maximum SS pension.

If 50% of your husbands SS pension is more than your own, my understanding is you receive the higher amount. A spouse pension is not subject to WEP.
Thanks for the info, although we had already researched this. Next year when my husband is 66 I will do this. However, your comment regarding the fact he has paid all relevant SS and taxes show the inequalities of this law. I have also paid all relevant taxes and SS payments. Does the US think I should have paid American taxes on my British earnings as well as the British taxes and National Insurance payments that I was already paying, before I had ever set foot in America, or even knew I ever would. I am not getting any higher SS payments than my American taxes have earned. This is a bad law as it applies to a lot of ex pats. I believe it's intended to affect US citizens working abroad who are not paying the applicable taxes in their home country and then claim SS. People like me are caught in the middle. It's problem that law makers should correct. Though I doubt
they ever will.

Last edited by Lechtenberg; Apr 23rd 2016 at 1:58 am.
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Old Apr 23rd 2016, 2:17 am
  #1177  
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Default Re: UK state pension and USA social security

Originally Posted by Lechtenberg View Post
..... I believe it's intended to affect US citizens working abroad who are not paying the applicable taxes in their home country and then claim SS. People like me are caught in the middle. .....
No. As I think has already been explained above, the primary intent was to claw back some social security from US citizens who have a government pension, because they pay into the government scheme, not social security. To some degree everyone else is collateral damage, and the impact is fairly random, as you said, in the ways that were unpredictable, or at least couldn't be planned for.

I happened, by dumb luck, to arrive in the US young enough to be likely to earn my way out of the claws of WEP entirely, all being well. But I also have my British state pension, which I am making voluntary contributions to, and I have several private pension funds in the UK from several jobs I had there, and my 401k.
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Old Apr 23rd 2016, 2:46 am
  #1178  
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Default Re: UK state pension and USA social security

Originally Posted by Pulaski View Post
No. As I think has already been explained above, the primary intent was to claw back some social security from US citizens who have a government pension, because they pay into the government scheme, not social security. To some degree everyone else is collateral damage, and the impact is fairly random, as you said, in the ways that were unpredictable, or at least couldn't be planned for.

I happened, by dumb luck, to arrive in the US young enough to be likely to earn my way out of the claws of WEP entirely, all being well. But I also have my British state pension, which I am making voluntary contributions to, and I have several private pension funds in the UK from several jobs I had there, and my 401k.
I tried to make some extra payments some years ago with the intent of qualifying for a full British pension. I couldn't get a staight answer from the pension dept. then they told me it was too late as I was within a certain number of months/years from pension age. I'll have to check now about those 6 years that you mentions.
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Old Apr 23rd 2016, 5:26 am
  #1179  
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Default Re: UK state pension and USA social security

Originally Posted by Lechtenberg View Post
I tried to make some extra payments some years ago with the intent of qualifying for a full British pension. I couldn't get a staight answer from the pension dept. then they told me it was too late as I was within a certain number of months/years from pension age. I'll have to check now about those 6 years that you mentions.
As far as I know, once you are retired your account is closed to additional contributions. Unless you can prove that you tried to make additional contributions but were thwarted (and even then I don't know anyone can do anything for you), I fear you are on a hiding to nothing.
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Old Apr 23rd 2016, 6:53 am
  #1180  
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Default Re: UK state pension and USA social security

I just got my pension forecast. It says I have 40 years of contributions.

I'm 50 and have lived here almost exactly 10 years. According to that I paid since the age of 10. It was bloody hard work in't mill at that age I can tell tha.
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Old Apr 23rd 2016, 7:06 am
  #1181  
 
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Default Re: UK state pension and USA social security

Originally Posted by g1ant View Post
I just got my pension forecast. It says I have 40 years of contributions.

I'm 50 and have lived here almost exactly 10 years. According to that I paid since the age of 10. It was bloody hard work in't mill at that age I can tell tha.
Sure it wasn't 40 quarters?
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Old Apr 23rd 2016, 7:20 am
  #1182  
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Default Re: UK state pension and USA social security

Originally Posted by lansbury View Post
Sure it wasn't 40 quarters?
No, UK forecast. 40 years.
full pension. I'm not complaining.

Last edited by g1ant; Apr 23rd 2016 at 7:27 am.
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Old Apr 23rd 2016, 3:05 pm
  #1183  
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Default Re: UK state pension and USA social security

Originally Posted by g1ant View Post
No, UK forecast. 40 years.
full pension. I'm not complaining.
Are you sure it's not a forecast that assumes you'll work (or make voluntary contributions) until your pension age? That's the way US SS forecasts work.
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Old May 4th 2016, 11:36 pm
  #1184  
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Default Re: UK state pension and USA social security

Just an update to my previous posts regarding the WEP provision where the US gov. takes a chunk out of your Soc. security because you get a British pension. Next year when my husband gets his S.S. Pension I know I can claim half of his as its so much more than mine. However, I've been knformed by the S.S. Office that they will still deduct $200 from the amount I get to allow for the "windfall" I received for twelves years of work in England.
My husband will get his full amount as he has worked for the requisite amount of quarters and had paid SS tax on all of them.
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Old May 4th 2016, 11:43 pm
  #1185  
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Default Re: UK state pension and USA social security

If you only have 36 quarters is it possible to be "self employed" for another year to get up to the 40 quarters.
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