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UK state pension and USA social security

UK state pension and USA social security

Old Feb 23rd 2017, 6:53 pm
  #1366  
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Default Re: UK state pension and USA social security

Originally Posted by findthespot View Post
Where do I go from here ?

I could call, or most likely email, the SSA team at US London Embassy, and they will hopefully get back to me. I could call the SSA office in the US on 410-965-2356. Alternatively, does anybody know of a firm in the UK who offer guidance re US retirement benefits and the US social security system.

I had at the outset assumed my query may have been a simple one to answer. I appear to have been mistaken. Thankfully, I am tenacious and will get to the bottom of this.

Cheers
Why not contact the Embassy, then you will have definitive answers rather than wondering if you have got it right? You can even make an appointment to visit them and have a face to face discussion.

https://uk.usembassy.gov/u-s-citizen...benefits-unit/
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Old Feb 27th 2017, 1:25 pm
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Default Re: UK state pension and USA social security

UPDATE AND HOPEFULLY CLOSURE !

I managed to speak to a nice and very helpful English lady based in the SSA team @ the Federal Benefits Unit in the London US Embassy. Before discussing my retirement benefit entitlement she admitted that I was very lucky to manage to speak to a London based SSA team member on a person to person basis; the lines are usually busy and you are usually swiftly directed to sending in an email enquiry. Based on my experience I'd guess a caller has a 1 in 20 chance of speaking directly to a SSA Team member.

Anyhow, my query was answered in full.

It is forecast that as a result of the UK/US totalisation agreement I am entitled to a US retirement benefit of circa $200 per month at full retirement age. That is more than I thought.

With regards to WEP. She confirmed that I will not be subject to a WEP deduction. This is because I do not even have 40 US credits; WEP would only apply if I had 40 US credits or more (i.e. at least 10 yrs of US SS covered employment/ insured earnings - aka "fully insured") and also had entitlement to a foreign based pension (whether company/private, or state/ federal) from non-covered (i.e. non US) employment. The non covered employment and associated foreign pensions would then be subject to some form of WEP deduction.

UK residents have to accrue 35 years (used to be 30 years) of NI credits in order to potentially receive a full UK state pension. The SSA lady said that the fact that a mere 10 years is the US cut off is the principal reason why WEP was introduced .... i.e. it was deemed by Uncle Sam to be overly generous to get a full US retirement benefit for just 10 yrs of work, whilst at the same time conceivably getting a virtual full or substantial foreign pension from say 20 up to even say 35 years of non covered employment in a nation such as the UK.

Mr Trump seems like a swell, genuine guy, so maybe he will repeal all the WEP legislation !

So, in a nutshell I am entitled to a full UK state pension, and in addition I will be entitled to a modest US retirement benefit which will be be paid separate to my UK pension and the latter will be unaffected, and vice versa.

So it was fairly simple after all.

I left a message with the SSA international team in Maryland and hope to receive a call from them to re-confirm the above. That said, and please do not think I am being rude, but I fear that their staff may be unable to call me in the UK, i.e.the thought of making telephone calls to a place outside of the States seems to puzzle many US based federal staff.

Last edited by findthespot; Feb 27th 2017 at 1:34 pm.
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Old Feb 27th 2017, 2:59 pm
  #1368  
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Default Re: UK state pension and USA social security

Originally Posted by findthespot View Post
..... The SSA lady said that the fact that a mere 10 years is the US cut off is the principal reason why WEP was introduced .... i.e. it was deemed by Uncle Sam to be overly generous to get a full US retirement benefit for just 10 yrs of work, whilst at the same time conceivably getting a virtual full or substantial foreign pension from say 20 up to even say 35 years of non covered employment in a nation such as the UK. .....
If you have a foreign pension and are subject to WEP, then you are collateral damage, because the primary goal of WEP is people who have been employed by the Federal, state, or local government and not covered by Social Security, and therefore receive a government pension. ..... Most US government jobs are exempt from the Social Security system.
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Old Feb 27th 2017, 3:24 pm
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Default Re: UK state pension and USA social security

Thanks for the update findthespot, I'm pleased to hear that it is all working out well for you. I agree with you that the chances of getting a call back to your UK number are very slim. I expect very few folks at SSA will have access to an international line when making phone calls.

I do maintain a US number at $39/year through Skype which rings through to my UK mobile if I don't answer on Skype within 15 seconds. In November my wife will be contacting SSA to start collecting her SS pension so we have that challenge to look forward to.
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Old Feb 27th 2017, 8:04 pm
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Default Re: UK state pension and USA social security

I second durham_lad's message. It's appropriate for you to benefit from the contributions you made.

I'm bookmarking what's below. It's nothing to do with your particular situation or your response, but echoes comments I have heard elsewhere. It raises a position on US SS and payments made accessible by use of a totalisation agreement. Others have claimed any benefit acquired by totalisation is not WEPed, even those after 1995.

See first sub-line under the first bullet point under B:
https://secure.ssa.gov/poms.nsf/lnx/0300605386

If anyone else has had a US SS benefit made possible by totalisation for contributions made after 1995, I would be interested to hear as to whether the benefit was WEPed.

Consider two individuals:
Person A - 9 years substantial SS contributions with a benefit of $1,000 achieved by use of a totalisation agreement.
Person B - 11 years substantial SS contributions with a benefit of $1,000 qualified by the 10 year rule.


Originally Posted by findthespot View Post
She confirmed that I will not be subject to a WEP deduction. This is because I do not even have 40 US credits;....
Originally Posted by findthespot View Post
WEP would only apply if I had 40 US credits or more (i.e. at least 10 yrs of US SS covered employment/ insured earnings - aka "fully insured") and also had entitlement to a foreign based pension (whether company/private, or state/ federal) from non-covered (i.e. non US) employment.
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Old Feb 27th 2017, 9:24 pm
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Default Re: UK state pension and USA social security

Thx OAP.

Re your two individuals and their respective scenarios:

Person A - 9 years substantial SS contributions with a benefit of $1,000 achieved by use of a totalisation agreement.
Person B - 11 years substantial SS contributions with a benefit of $1,000 qualified by the 10 year rule.

Yes, I thought based on what the SSA officer said this morning, that Person B above could fall foul of WEP if, as would be likely, they have substantial retirement income from foreign sources which is derived from non-covered employment. From what she said Person A, with 9 years of credits will have no deductions to US retirement benefit due to foreign pensions, but Person B could, even if they only have exactly 10 years worth of credits.

The SSA link you copied (https://secure.ssa.gov/poms.nsf/lnx/0300605386) appears to be clear in that it states that relevant policies apply to all benefits payable for 1/95 or later. Benefits for months before 1/95 may be subject to WEP.

But, the SSA link shown in previous posts (https://secure.ssa.gov/poms.nsf/lnx/0201701301) clarifies the above re Totalisation agreement countries :

"When a worker is entitled to a U.S. Totalization benefit payable for months before January 1995 and a pension from a Totalization agreement country (i.e., a pension based on work covered by the social security system of that country), the foreign pension is considered to be based on U.S. covered work. As a result, entitlement to a pension (government sponsored or private) from an agreement country will not cause the WEP to apply in the computation of a U.S. Totalization benefit payable for months before January 1995."

It may be that WEP may apply if foreign retirement income is derived from countries that do not have totalisation agreements with the US !?

The whole subject area is a bit bizarre and, if required, I hope Mr Trump will clarify the matter. Might be better use of his time than accusing the BBC of fake news lol

Last edited by findthespot; Feb 27th 2017 at 9:28 pm.
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Old Mar 11th 2017, 6:02 pm
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Default Re: UK state pension and USA social security

New query-I trawled through back pages but I could not find anything that specifically answers the following:

Entitled to US SS ( from 12 years US earnings) but not yet claimed, now UK resident (UK citizen),
a) if I claim US SS at becoming age 66 but defer commencement of receiving my UK state pension ( eligible from age 65)

b) as above but suspend receiving my UK state pension commencing in year I turn 66

In either case a) or b) above would the US SS to be taken at age 66 be subject to WEP reduction ? Or only reduced by WEP reduction at the time I actually commence or recommence receiving UK state pension ?

I looked at SSA link POMS http://secure.ssa.gov/poms.nsf/lnx/0200307290
but find it a bit ambiguous re this situation.
i.e WEP applied based on entitlement to foreign pension, or when actual drawing foreign pension.

Appreciate any advice or others experience applicable to this.
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Old Mar 12th 2017, 5:57 pm
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Default Re: UK state pension and USA social security

Originally Posted by adeelmbridgeUK View Post
New query-I trawled through back pages but I could not find anything that specifically answers the following:

Entitled to US SS ( from 12 years US earnings) but not yet claimed, now UK resident (UK citizen),
a) if I claim US SS at becoming age 66 but defer commencement of receiving my UK state pension ( eligible from age 65)

b) as above but suspend receiving my UK state pension commencing in year I turn 66

In either case a) or b) above would the US SS to be taken at age 66 be subject to WEP reduction ? Or only reduced by WEP reduction at the time I actually commence or recommence receiving UK state pension ?

I looked at SSA link POMS http://secure.ssa.gov/poms.nsf/lnx/0200307290
but find it a bit ambiguous re this situation.
i.e WEP applied based on entitlement to foreign pension, or when actual drawing foreign pension.

Appreciate any advice or others experience applicable to this.
As has been said here several times. WEP only kicks in when you are in receipt of both US SS and UK State pension, if all the other requirements for WEP apply.

Question B isn't clear. Are you suggesting taking your UK pension and then stopping receipt of it.
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Old Mar 12th 2017, 9:24 pm
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Default Re: UK state pension and USA social security

I would check directly with the Federal Benefits Team at the US Embassy. From what I understand, and you may not wish to ask the US Embassy team this cheeky question, if you can afford to delay your UK pension then technically I'd imagine it can't be subject to WEP until you are in recipt thereof. Do you then have a legal obligation to tell the US SSA at a later date if you elect to take up your rights to what over time will become an enhanced UK state pension. God knows !?
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Old Mar 12th 2017, 10:27 pm
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Default Re: UK state pension and USA social security

Originally Posted by findthespot View Post
I would check directly with the Federal Benefits Team at the US Embassy. From what I understand, and you may not wish to ask the US Embassy team this cheeky question, if you can afford to delay your UK pension then technically I'd imagine it can't be subject to WEP until you are in recipt thereof. Do you then have a legal obligation to tell the US SSA at a later date if you elect to take up your rights to what over time will become an enhanced UK state pension. God knows !?
I'm in that position. I'm getting my US SS but I'm still deferring my British state pension. The good people at the SS send me a form letter every few months, "are you taking your foreign pension yet." I duly send it back, "Nope not yet."
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Old Mar 12th 2017, 11:55 pm
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Default Re: UK state pension and USA social security

Originally Posted by robin1234 View Post
I'm in that position. I'm getting my US SS but I'm still deferring my British state pension. The good people at the SS send me a form letter every few months, "are you taking your foreign pension yet." I duly send it back, "Nope not yet."
Love it.

Please be careful though Robin. Donald may accuse you having a fake foreign pension, issue an Executive Order to have a wall built around your house ..... and then deduct payment for construction of the same from your legitimate US retirement benefit !
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Old Mar 13th 2017, 12:49 am
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Default Re: UK state pension and USA social security

Originally Posted by findthespot View Post
if you can afford to delay your UK pension then technically I'd imagine it can't be subject to WEP until you are in recipt thereof.
If you are not receiving a UK pension it cannot be taken into account for WEP. Technically or otherwise.


Do you then have a legal obligation to tell the US SSA at a later date if you elect to take up your rights to what over time will become an enhanced UK state pension. God knows !?
Of course you are required to inform SSA when you start taking a pension that might make your SS subject to WEP. It has nothing to do with God it is part of the forms that are filled out when you claim SS, and I was required under oath to answer verbal questions about possible future pensions.
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Old Mar 13th 2017, 11:04 am
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Default Re: UK state pension and USA social security

Originally Posted by lansbury View Post
If you are not receiving a UK pension it cannot be taken into account for WEP. Technically or otherwise.




Of course you are required to inform SSA when you start taking a pension that might make your SS subject to WEP. It has nothing to do with God it is part of the forms that are filled out when you claim SS, and I was required under oath to answer verbal questions about possible future pensions.
Thanks for clarifying that.

BTW please do not take some of my comments too seriously; assuming that you are of British origin I trust you can remember that Brits have a trait which I often found was totally lost on Americans, namely sarcasm !
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Old Mar 13th 2017, 5:12 pm
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Default Re: UK state pension and USA social security

Originally Posted by findthespot View Post
Thanks for clarifying that.

BTW please do not take some of my comments too seriously; assuming that you are of British origin I trust you can remember that Brits have a trait which I often found was totally lost on Americans, namely sarcasm !
When dealing with SS and/or taxes giving information which is misleading is not funny when it has the potential to lead the unwary into mistakes. I don't find subjects which have the potential to have serious financial implications for people to be matters warranting levity. Especially when such attempts at humor imply a course of action which amounts to fraud.
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Old Mar 13th 2017, 5:51 pm
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Default Re: UK state pension and USA social security

Gee Lansbury, you need to chill mate.

I did not tell anybody to defraud Uncle Sam. I did not know the answer to the question re when one would need to inform the SSA re the commencement of receipt of a foreign pension.

You then answered the query. Thank you.

I wish you well in your quest to find some life on Mars.

Last edited by findthespot; Mar 13th 2017 at 5:54 pm.
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