Social Security Matters

Ask Rusty – Will My UK Pension Affect My US Social Security?

Dear Rusty: I am 57 years old, was born in the UK, and since 1988 have worked in the US. I have always paid US taxes and Social Security. For the last 20 years, my annual income has typically been well north of $100K. In recent years I have made voluntary payments to the UK National Insurance system looking to claim a retirement benefit from the UK as well as from the US. My concern is that if I claim the UK benefit, this will affect my US Social Security claim. Any insight you can share will be appreciated. Signed: Worried

Dear Worried: If you have 30 or more years of U.S. employment where you paid into Social Security via payroll taxes on “substantial” earnings, your U.K. pension will not affect your U.S. Social Security benefit when you claim it. Social Security’s definition of “substantial” earnings is different for each year but, generally, if you worked full time in the U.S. and paid into Social Security via payroll taxes since 1988, the so-called Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP) won’t affect your US Social Security benefits.









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