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UK state pension and USA social security

UK state pension and USA social security

Old Oct 31st 2016, 5:38 pm
  #1261  
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Default Re: UK state pension and USA social security

I'm a long way off yet so haven't read all the associated documents, but from what I've seen, I've been working on an assumption that the dividing line is 'contributions made from earnings on which US SS was paid' and 'contributions from earnings on which it wasnt', and mentally breaking it down in my head as:

Pension that counts for WEP and will be included in the figure I give them:

- the part of my UK state pension derived from normal NI contributions deducted while working
- the defined benefit and defined contribution plans I paid into while in the UK (mostly direct from payroll, but one set up by myself separate to work)
- the Swiss state pension deriving from the Swiss equivalent of NI while working there

Pension that doesn't count for WEP:

- the part of my UK state pension from credits they gave me from for being at home with small children (because non-earnings related)
- the part of my UK state pension from any voluntary contributions (because the contributions were made during years in which we had US earnings on which US SS was paid).

Have I misunderstood how it works? Not that it matters overmuch if I have, with 20+ years still to go anyway, and plenty of time to change the rules.

Last edited by kodokan; Oct 31st 2016 at 6:02 pm.
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Old Oct 31st 2016, 5:42 pm
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Default Re: UK state pension and USA social security

So I have a bit of a mess. I had a job that had no pension plan, so I started contributing to my own personal pension. I kept this going alongside a work personal pension and then moved my personal pension funds into my work personal pension 6 or 7 years after I joined the company. I also made extra contributions into my work personal pension.

I had 2 pensions from my past employer, a personal pension and a group personal pension. The personal pension part was from when I was making my own payments into another scheme. Then they all got rolled into one when I moved to a different pension provider.

I forgot about the Government superannuation contributions I moved into a company pension scheme. I wish I had thought about WEP before moving funds.

So now they are one big co-mingled mess as far as WEP is concerned. So the 30 year option is the best option.

Last edited by mrken30; Oct 31st 2016 at 6:03 pm.
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Old Oct 31st 2016, 5:43 pm
  #1263  
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Default Re: UK state pension and USA social security

Originally Posted by Pulaski View Post

So the deciding factor seems to be whether (WEPable) or not (not WEPable) pension contributions were deducted from your payroll?
I think the deciding factor may be if it's a group personal pension plan or a private personal pension plan. Maybe it's just the part the employer matched? Who knows.
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Old Oct 31st 2016, 5:46 pm
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Default Re: UK state pension and USA social security

Originally Posted by Pulaski View Post

So the deciding factor seems to be whether (WEPable) or not (not WEPable) pension contributions were deducted from your payroll?
While I expect there are some exceptions to that rule (not sure what they might be) in an easy to understand form that is how I understand WEP to work as far as UK State pension goes.
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Old Oct 31st 2016, 6:04 pm
  #1265  
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Default Re: UK state pension and USA social security

The way I deal with it from a practical long term financial planning view, is to assume that we'll be hit for maximum WEP. Anything less will therefore be a happy bonus.
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Old Oct 31st 2016, 6:04 pm
  #1266  
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Default Re: UK state pension and USA social security

Originally Posted by kodokan View Post
I'm a long way off yet so haven't read all the associated documents, but from what I've seen, I've been working on an assumption that the dividing line is 'contributions made from earnings on which US SS was paid' and 'contributions from earnings on which it wasnt', and mentally breaking it down in my head as:

Pension that counts for WEP and will be included in the figure I give them:

- the part of my UK state pension derived from normal NI contributions deducted while working
- the defined benefit and defined contribution plans I paid into while in the UK
- the Swiss state pension deriving from the Swiss equivalent of NI while working there

Pension that doesn't count for WEP:

- the part of my UK state pension from credits they gave me from for being at home with small children (because non-earnings related)
- the part of my UK state pension from any voluntary contributions (because the contributions were made during years in which we had US earnings on which US SS was paid).

Have I misunderstood how it works? Not that it matters overmuch if I have, with 20+ years still to go anyway, and plenty of time to change the rules.
What you have described happens to, I think, match to the "payroll deducted" v "not payroll deducted" rule that Lansbury has described.
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Old Oct 31st 2016, 6:21 pm
  #1267  
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Default Re: UK state pension and USA social security

Originally Posted by Pulaski View Post
What you have described happens to, I think, match to the "payroll deducted" v "not payroll deducted" rule that Lansbury has described.
Mostly, although I also have one UK private pension that doesn't fit; it's a Stakeholder one that I took out while at home with the kids because the government would gross up contributions (up to a limit of a few thou) as if I'd made them from earned income. I still view this as WEP-able, though in reality it's only a pot of about $8k so I plan to withdraw it all at once the second I hit 55, as it'll be one less piece of tiresome reporting paperwork.

Of course, I still don't fully understand what impact taking it all as a lump sum might have on a SS claim 15 years later... *shrug* Like I said, I'm planning for full WEP, so not worrying overmuch about the details beyond that.
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Old Oct 31st 2016, 6:52 pm
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Default Re: UK state pension and USA social security

I would just like to say after this mornings discussion, before which I thought I had it understood, I am now officially confused. Just glad Mrs L and I claimed our SS last year, and got it all sorted.
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Old Oct 31st 2016, 7:00 pm
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Default Re: UK state pension and USA social security

Originally Posted by lansbury View Post
I would just like to say after this mornings discussion, before which I thought I had it understood, I am now officially confused. ....
Likewise .....
Just glad Mrs L and I claimed our SS last year, and got it all sorted.
And glad that I am on track to escape WEP entirely. ..... AND on track for a "full" British state pension.

Is that called "having two cakes and eating them both"?
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Old Oct 31st 2016, 7:22 pm
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Default Re: UK state pension and USA social security

Originally Posted by Pulaski View Post
And glad that I am on track to escape WEP entirely. ..... AND on track for a "full" British state pension.

Is that called "having two cakes and eating them both"?
It's called prudent planning.

Mrs L had 28 years contributions. She could have gone back to work after we came back to the US, but we considered the extra years of retirement were worth the small loss in income, and certainly have no regrets over that decision. It has been good to have retired in our late 50s.

Last edited by lansbury; Oct 31st 2016 at 7:24 pm.
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Old Nov 1st 2016, 10:25 pm
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Default Re: UK state pension and USA social security

Originally Posted by lansbury View Post
I would just like to say after this mornings discussion, before which I thought I had it understood, I am now officially confused. Just glad Mrs L and I claimed our SS last year, and got it all sorted.
Iansbury,how long did it take from application to actually getting the 1st payment in your bank account?
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Old Nov 1st 2016, 11:50 pm
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Default Re: UK state pension and USA social security

Originally Posted by monkeybrains View Post
Iansbury,how long did it take from application to actually getting the 1st payment in your bank account?
It really depends how long before you ask them to start it. You can claim either 3 or 4 months (I can't remember which) before the start date, and the first payment is a month after the start date. They need a minimum of a month from claiming to start date.
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Old Nov 2nd 2016, 12:52 am
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Default Re: UK state pension and USA social security

When I applied online I had the option of it starting the same month in which I applied, which I chose, but the payment for it arrived the next month.
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Old Nov 2nd 2016, 1:21 am
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Default Re: UK state pension and USA social security

Born in Scotland I recently found out that I may be able to collect UK pension from the 8 years I worked there from 1963 to 1971 prior to moving to the USA in 1971 I am now 68 years living in the USA collect SS
Any idea as to how much I may be able to collect per month ?
Also do not have a record of my National Healhcare Number, could that be a problem ?
Are there tax implications ?

Last edited by Peterj8585; Nov 2nd 2016 at 1:25 am.
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Old Nov 2nd 2016, 1:41 am
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Default Re: UK state pension and USA social security

Originally Posted by Peterj8585 View Post
Born in Scotland I recently found out that I may be able to collect UK pension from the 8 years I worked there from 1963 to 1971 prior to moving to the USA in 1971 I am now 68 years living in the USA collect SS
Any idea as to how much I may be able to collect per month ?
Also do not have a record of my National Healhcare Number, could that be a problem ?
Are there tax implications ?
With your name and date of birth they can track your records down fairly easily. I think you need ten years of contributions to get anything back, but I may be wrong. I also don't think you can make any catch-up payments, but again, I may be wrong. You may also find that you have more than eight years of contributions as many people have "deemed years" in addition to years of actual contributions, for example if you stayed at school after the age of 16.

What I would recommend is that you contact the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) in Newcastle and ask them to help you. While I don't think you'll get anything I certainly wouldn't give up hope based on advice from an internet forum.

Here's the international contact information for the DWP. Bear in mind that they're only open to 6pm, which this week means 12noon on the east coast and only 9am on the west coast - it'll be one hour later next week after the clocks go back.

Last edited by Pulaski; Nov 2nd 2016 at 2:11 am.
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