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UK state pension and USA social security

UK state pension and USA social security

Old Feb 21st 2017, 6:10 pm
  #1336  
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Default Re: UK state pension and USA social security

Originally Posted by findthespot View Post
Aaah .... I came across the SSA retirement calculator last week when I was looking at the income I could earn from a small private company pension (401K ?) that I still have via my ex US employer.

The SSA retirement calculator does not help me. This is because it only seems to provide an estimate for workers who have at least 40 US social security credits. Seems a bit deficient, but who am I to complain !

My entitlement, assuming it does exist, is I understand based on a US/UK reciprocal agreement - or a totalisation agreement.

Thus, I am still lost !!

I could send an online enquiry to the SSA team in the Federal Benefits Unit at the London US Embassy who should have a better understanding of my rights/ entitlement - as per previous post it appears to be almost impossible to contact them via the telephone.
I believe you won't get anything from the US SS, as you need a minimum of 40 credits, ten years, to qualify for SS. As for the US UK agreement, that would have helped you if you needed your UK credits bulked up - but it looks like you'll have full UK credits when you retire, so you don't need the transfer of the U.K. Credits...
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Old Feb 21st 2017, 6:27 pm
  #1337  
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Default Re: UK state pension and USA social security

Originally Posted by morpeth View Post
easy to set up, takes a few minutes

but it asks for usa mailing address, and series of questions (yes or no) to confirm is you

I suggest you order your usa credit report because questions seem based on that, and perhaps your last usa address.

it seems a bit complicated as a non citizen as to requirements so you at after getting the estimate check thee publications on requirements for non citizens to receive the payment, but if you qualify can be paid in uk.
The OP has not worked here since 1991 so he is not going to have a US credit report is he?
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Old Feb 21st 2017, 6:45 pm
  #1338  
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Default Re: UK state pension and USA social security

Originally Posted by robin1234 View Post
I believe you won't get anything from the US SS, as you need a minimum of 40 credits, ten years, to qualify for SS. As for the US UK agreement, that would have helped you if you needed your UK credits bulked up - but it looks like you'll have full UK credits when you retire, so you don't need the transfer of the U.K. Credits...
Not sure if the above is correct Robin. I agree that the right to "bulk up" credits under the US/UK totalisation agreement will not apply to me as I do not need to do so. But, under the US/UK agreement I should be entitled to some form of retirement income. albeit modest, so long as I spend more than 18 months working and paying taxes in the US, which I did.

I have come across the article below which is highly informative in this regard, and affirms my belief that I am entitled to some retirement income form the US. I just want to know how to obtain a forecast of my entitlement. If I was a cynic, I would be inclined to think that such an entitlement is not widely publicised to help respective governments save money. If that is the case, it is a poor attitude given the ever increasing globalisation in work practices.

https://www.theguardian.com/money/20...ement.pensions
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Old Feb 21st 2017, 7:00 pm
  #1339  
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Default Re: UK state pension and USA social security

Originally Posted by findthespot View Post
Aaah .... I came across the SSA retirement calculator last week when I was looking at the income I could earn from a small private company pension (401K ?) that I still have via my ex US employer.

The SSA retirement calculator does not help me. This is because it only seems to provide an estimate for workers who have at least 40 US social security credits. Seems a bit deficient, but who am I to complain !

My entitlement, assuming it does exist, is I understand based on a US/UK reciprocal agreement - or a totalisation agreement.

Thus, I am still lost !!

I could send an online enquiry to the SSA team in the Federal Benefits Unit at the London US Embassy who should have a better understanding of my rights/ entitlement - as per previous post it appears to be almost impossible to contact them via the telephone.
Did you set up account ? If you set up account it shows which earnings have been credited and any estimated earnings.
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Old Feb 21st 2017, 7:03 pm
  #1340  
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Default Re: UK state pension and USA social security

Originally Posted by MidAtlantic View Post
The OP has not worked here since 1991 so he is not going to have a US credit report is he?
Not suggesting it would show any credit information, but evidently social security uses outside firm or connection to credit reports to generate questions to confirm identity. For example I signed up for an account, and one of questions asked whether I had lived in a certain address 20 years ago- so I think getting that report would help setting up account and getting more accurate information.
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Old Feb 21st 2017, 7:07 pm
  #1341  
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Default Re: UK state pension and USA social security

Originally Posted by robin1234 View Post
I believe you won't get anything from the US SS, as you need a minimum of 40 credits, ten years, to qualify for SS. As for the US UK agreement, that would have helped you if you needed your UK credits bulked up - but it looks like you'll have full UK credits when you retire, so you don't need the transfer of the U.K. Credits...
The reciprocal agreement will allow him to use UK credits to qualify for US SS. His actual payment will be based on the limited number of actual contributions he made, but of course it's better than nothing...
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Old Feb 21st 2017, 7:25 pm
  #1342  
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Default Re: UK state pension and USA social security

Originally Posted by Giantaxe View Post
The reciprocal agreement will allow him to use UK credits to qualify for US SS. His actual payment will be based on the limited number of actual contributions he made, but of course it's better than nothing...
Ah yes, of course. For some reason I was only thinking in the opposite direction. But wouldn't the limited amount of US SS then be subject to WEP?
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Old Feb 21st 2017, 7:28 pm
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Default Re: UK state pension and USA social security

Originally Posted by robin1234 View Post
Ah yes, of course. For some reason I was only thinking in the opposite direction. But wouldn't the limited amount of US SS then be subject to WEP?
Yes, it would - likely 50% of the small amount the OP qualifies for.
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Old Feb 21st 2017, 8:42 pm
  #1344  
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Default Re: UK state pension and USA social security

Originally Posted by Giantaxe View Post
Yes, it would - likely 50% of the small amount the OP qualifies for.
Yes, I once entered some numbers on an online calculator and it came to around 50%- actually about 55% for a full WEP reduction, meaning a SS payment of about 45% of what it would be without WEP.
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Old Feb 21st 2017, 8:57 pm
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Default Re: UK state pension and USA social security

Originally Posted by Giantaxe View Post
Yes, it would - likely 50% of the small amount the OP qualifies for.
I think I got this incorrect... WEP may in fact wipe out the entire small amount.The 50% limit is on the non-SS pension, not the SS, so a very small SS payment coupled with a full UK pension could completely eliminate the former.
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Old Feb 22nd 2017, 12:23 am
  #1346  
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Default Re: UK state pension and USA social security

Originally Posted by Giantaxe View Post
I think I got this incorrect... WEP may in fact wipe out the entire small amount.The 50% limit is on the non-SS pension, not the SS, so a very small SS payment coupled with a full UK pension could completely eliminate the former.
Thx for ongoing input. it is obviously not as straightforward as I had imagined ! That said, I was told approx 5 years ago by the SSA team in the London US embassy that I would definitely be entitled to some retirement benefit and they quoted a figure of less than $100 per month as a ballpark estimate based on my earnings over a 3 year period and under the US/UK reciprocal agreement. Again the article below appears to confirm that is the case :

https://www.theguardian.com/money/20...ement.pensions

In effect I am simply trying to get a more up to date and accurate estimate given my current circumstances, and from whom i should obtain it, and details of how said forecast is computed.

I was told by the SSA team in London that my meagre US retirement benefit is paid in addition to a full UK pension, and why shouldn't it be !? . To suggest I would be entitled to nothing due to WEP seems a bit harsh, particularly given that the % WEP deduction appears to be capped at 50% assuming that one retires, or claims benefit, at the full US retirement age of just less than 67 . I am not even clear how or why the WEP would affect me. The SSA website states the following in respect of WEP :

.... This (WEP) provision can affect you when you earn
a pension from an employer who didn’t withhold
Social Security taxes and you qualify for Social
Security retirement benefits from
work in other jobs for which you did pay taxes.
The Windfall Elimination Provision can
apply if:

• You reached 62 after 1985; or
• You first became eligible for a monthly
pension based on work where you didn’t pay
Social Security taxes after 1985. This rule
applies even if you’re still working.


I fail to see how any of the above applies to a UK citizen who a) worked for a US employer for 30 months and paid social security taxes throughout that period, and b) can benefit from the US/UK reciprocal agreement - which i understand states for my circumstances that so long as a UK based claimant has earned more than 6 credits then they are entitled to some US retirement benefit, even it is only a meagre sum. I have 12 credits.

Gee, this makes my day job in rocket science (I kid not!) seem easy !
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Old Feb 22nd 2017, 1:06 am
  #1347  
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Default Re: UK state pension and USA social security

Originally Posted by Giantaxe View Post
I think I got this incorrect... WEP may in fact wipe out the entire small amount.The 50% limit is on the non-SS pension, not the SS, so a very small SS payment coupled with a full UK pension could completely eliminate the former.
Thx for ongoing input. This matter is obviously not as straightforward as I had imagined ! That said, I was told approx 5 years ago by the SSA team in the London US embassy that I would definitely be entitled to some retirement benefit and they quoted a figure of less than $100 per month as a ballpark estimate based on my earnings over a 3 year period and under the US/UK reciprocal agreement. Again the article from the UK Guardian Newspaper (no fake news in that publication !) - see link in my last post - appears to confirm that I am entitled to a modest monthly retirement sum.

In reality I am simply trying to get a more up to date and accurate estimate given my current circumstances, and from whom I should obtain it, and details of how said forecast is computed.

I was told by the SSA team in London that my meagre US retirement benefit can be paid in addition to a full UK pension, and why shouldn't it be !? To suggest I would be entitled to nothing due to WEP seems a bit harsh, particularly given that the % WEP deduction appears to be capped at 50% assuming that one retires, or claims benefit, at the full US retirement age of just less than 67 . I am not even clear how or why the WEP would affect me. The SSA website states the following in respect of WEP :

.... This (WEP) provision can affect you when you earn
a pension from an employer who didn’t withhold
Social Security taxes and you qualify for Social
Security retirement benefits from
work in other jobs for which you did pay taxes.
The Windfall Elimination Provision can
apply if:

• You reached 62 after 1985; or
• You first became eligible for a monthly
pension based on work where you didn’t pay
Social Security taxes after 1985. This rule
applies even if you’re still working.


I cannot see how the above provision applies to a UK citizen who a) worked for a US employer for 30 months and paid social security taxes throughout that period, and b) can benefit from the US/UK reciprocal agreement - which I understand states for my circumstances that so long as a UK based claimant has earned more than 6 credits then they are entitled to some US retirement benefit, even it is only a meagre sum. I have 12 credits.

Gee, this makes my day job in rocket science (I kid not!) seem easy !
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Old Feb 22nd 2017, 1:29 am
  #1348  
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Default Re: UK state pension and USA social security

Originally Posted by findthespot View Post
Thx for ongoing input. This matter is obviously not as straightforward as I had imagined ! That said, I was told approx 5 years ago by the SSA team in the London US embassy that I would definitely be entitled to some retirement benefit and they quoted a figure of less than $100 per month as a ballpark estimate based on my earnings over a 3 year period and under the US/UK reciprocal agreement. Again the article from the UK Guardian Newspaper (no fake news in that publication !) - see link in my last post - appears to confirm that I am entitled to a modest monthly retirement sum.

In reality I am simply trying to get a more up to date and accurate estimate given my current circumstances, and from whom I should obtain it, and details of how said forecast is computed.

I was told by the SSA team in London that my meagre US retirement benefit can be paid in addition to a full UK pension, and why shouldn't it be !? To suggest I would be entitled to nothing due to WEP seems a bit harsh, particularly given that the % WEP deduction appears to be capped at 50% assuming that one retires, or claims benefit, at the full US retirement age of just less than 67 . I am not even clear how or why the WEP would affect me. The SSA website states the following in respect of WEP :

.... This (WEP) provision can affect you when you earn
a pension from an employer who didn’t withhold
Social Security taxes and you qualify for Social
Security retirement benefits from
work in other jobs for which you did pay taxes.
The Windfall Elimination Provision can
apply if:

• You reached 62 after 1985; or
• You first became eligible for a monthly
pension based on work where you didn’t pay
Social Security taxes after 1985. This rule
applies even if you’re still working.


I cannot see how the above provision applies to a UK citizen who a) worked for a US employer for 30 months and paid social security taxes throughout that period, and b) can benefit from the US/UK reciprocal agreement - which I understand states for my circumstances that so long as a UK based claimant has earned more than 6 credits then they are entitled to some US retirement benefit, even it is only a meagre sum. I have 12 credits.

Gee, this makes my day job in rocket science (I kid not!) seem easy !
Because when you were working in the UK your employer "didn’t withhold Social Security taxes" (why would they, they're in the UK ).

You are definitely what I would call collateral damage, caught up in something that was designed for a entirely different purpose (to catch people who worked in state or local government jobs that are not covered by Social Security).
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Old Feb 22nd 2017, 3:04 am
  #1349  
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Default Re: UK state pension and USA social security

Yes, Pulaski .... I think I get what you say. Although it is far from clear, I think I can now see how the WEP system would apply to my circumstances; principally because I have less than 20 years of substantial earnings in the US (in fact I have 3 years).

There are some worked examples earlier in this thread (well from back in 2013) and using those I will attempt to do a rough calculation to project what, if anything, I may receive from Uncle Sam (or is it now Uncle Donald).... and post my calcs for comment/ feedback.

This whole conundrum reminds me of the times when due to my so called exceptional skills I was given a US green card immediately after returning to the UK, but I had to file a US tax return for a couple of years (no tax ever paid due to prevailing tax treaty) in order to maintain my right to use or keep my "green card status". I never actually bothered to use my green card as I decided to, and prefer to, live in blighty and in effect just sent my green card back. What I recollect from that time, however, was the ludicrously complicated US tax returns and guidance notes. The returns took almost two full days to complete. If anything put me off going back to the States it was those bloody tax forms ! This so called simple calculation re my rights to a US retirement benefit seems to be a similar and unnecessarily convoluted system. The UK tax system has always appeared to be far more straightforward - an annual tax return takes me two hours max. Surely over the past 20 plus years the US tax system must now be far, far simpler and returns easy to compile, and submit ?

Anyhow, I'll attempt to calculate what I may be due from the SSA, inc allowing for the vagaries of the exchange rates, options to defer receipt of UK based pensions, and report back in due course. Before I start, however, how the hell do I calculate my baseline US retirement benfit entitlement, before a WEP reduction !? FYI my US "substantial" earnings in 89-91 were a mere $17K ('89), $43K ('90), and $40K ('91).

Last edited by findthespot; Feb 22nd 2017 at 3:22 am.
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Old Feb 22nd 2017, 3:20 am
  #1350  
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Default Re: UK state pension and USA social security

This is what I understand of WEP. The UK state pension is not intended to favour the well-paid, so it's based on years and there are no issues. The US SS system is intended to favour the well-paid, but less than proportionally to their pay, so it's based on pay x years, but a high factor is applied at first, then lower factors with increasing pay x years. What WEP is supposed to do, as I understand it, is where years is small and an applicant has another pension from the missing years, is to apply a low factor instead of the high factor. So findthespot should get SS, but it'll be reduced by about 55% from what it would've been without WEP.
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