Moving to England at 16: Driving Laws?

Jun 22nd, 2013, 04:54 AM
  #61  
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
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I don't know when the law went into effect, but currently if they only worked in the US for 11 and 13 years, and are receiving a UK pension, their US pensions are subject to the "Windfall Elimination Provision" - see http://ssa.gov/pubs/EN-05-10045.pdf

"If you work for an employer who does not withhold Social Security taxes from your salary, such as a government agency or an employer in another country, any pension you get based on that work may reduce your Social Security benefits.

The Windfall Elimination Provision affects how the amount of your retirement or disability benefit is calculated if you receive a pension from work where Social Security taxes were not taken out of your pay. A modified formula is used to calculate your benefit amount, resulting in a lower Social Security benefit than you otherwise would receive."

For someone who had less than 20 years of "substantial"
earnings in a US job it would cut almost $400/month from the US pension. I had 25 years so the cut would be about half that.

Whether the US government would notice if you "forgot" to tell them you had applied for the UK pension after you started the US pension (and stated that you did not recieve a UK pension) is another matter....

Do the winter fuel allowances etc. require you to be receiving a pension, or only to be over a certain age?
thursdaysd is offline  
Jun 22nd, 2013, 05:23 AM
  #62  
 
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The key in the info you posted is "if you work(ed) for an employer who does (did) not withhold Social Security taxes...." Was that you situation? I have worked since 1967 and even my summer and university jobs withheld Social Security. My husband's U.S. employer from 1996-2007 withheld SS. Virtually all businesses, if not all, must do so.

When my husband applied for UK state pension at 65 last year, the form asked if he was receiving state/social pensions (I forget the exact wording) from another country, but I don't think they even asked for the amount. He answered truthfully, always the best policy. The form did not ask about private pensions or other sources of income as the UK state pension is not means-tested.

About 3 months after his state pension started, I received a letter and application form stating that I might qualify for the UK spouse benefit based on his contributions. I had worked in the UK for 4 years in the early 90s, which I also told them.

I was highly skeptical but filled out the form, again stating I receive US SS, which I had started at 62 1/2. My spousal pension was approved. That was a nice surprise which the current government would like to eliminate (non-resident, non-citizen spouses receiving spousal benefit). But that's another story!
Cathinjoetown is offline  
Jun 22nd, 2013, 05:42 AM
  #63  
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
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In Norfolk, so the nearest is the M11 south of Cambridge. And a poor excuse of a motorway that is anyway. Still, one of the reasons it's so peaceful is because it's so hard to get here, which keeps it off the main tourist drag. Shhh, let's keep it that way.
anicecupoftea is offline  
Jun 22nd, 2013, 05:54 AM
  #64  
 
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"The key in the info you posted is "if you work(ed) for an employer who does (did) not withhold Social Security taxes....""

You omitted: "such as ... an employer in another country".

The issue is not (at least so far as I know) a reduction in the UK benefit, but a reduction in the US benefit based on receiving the UK benefit, and not having worked in the US a full 30 years. (I also noticed that if you are not a citizen, they will only pay your US pension if you are actually in the US.)

It looks like your husband was not receiving a UK pension when he applied for the US benefit, which is my case, however, I was instructed to tell them if that changed....
thursdaysd is offline  
Jun 22nd, 2013, 06:00 AM
  #65  
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
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I came back to the UK in the late 90s after 18 years abroad. Not only did I get a new Social Security number, I found that my old NHS number was now invalid - they now use the same number as the social security number.
Grindeldoo is offline  
Jun 22nd, 2013, 06:30 AM
  #66  
 
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Thursday,

Well, we are interpreting the wording differently. I am certainly not an expert and can only relate my quite recent personal experiences.

Yes, you did work for an employer in another country as you worked in the UK but was that work factored in to your US social security payment or is your payment based entirely on your US work history?

If the latter, I don't see how your US payment can be reduced if you also claim in the UK. If however the US factored your UK contributions into calculating your US social security payment, then I understand why there could be an issue.

I am a US citizen and my husband holds dual citizenship, US and UK. We have had no SS payments
reduced apart from the hit I took for taking Social Security at 62 1/2. He applied for both US and UK payments at 65.

Hope this helps, I don't mean to muddy the waters just hoping that you may be able to qualify for both.
Cathinjoetown is offline  
Jun 22nd, 2013, 06:41 AM
  #67  
 
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Do the winter fuel allowances etc. require you to be receiving a pension, or only to be over a certain age?>>

Thursdaysd - you only have to be over 60 so we've been enjoying DH's winter fuel allowances for a couple of years now. [though they want to change that too].

<>

anicecupoftea - poor roads don't seem to discourage people from coming to Cornwall, anything but. Just as well considering that over 30% of the country's income comes from tourism. When i notice it is when we're trying to get somewhere "up country", though to be fair the A30 is almost a motorway apart from a few short stretches. one of my friends has family in Norfolk and it takes her AGES to get there.
annhig is offline  
Jun 22nd, 2013, 07:03 AM
  #68  
 
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ann - thanks.

cathinjoe - well, I had my application interview at the local Social Security office just last month, and she was quite clear about wanting to know whether I was receiving a UK government pension. I think the wording of the document I linked is quite clear, too. If you are receiving a pension based on work for which there was no SS deduction - e.g. work in the UK and a UK pension - then your SS benefit is subject to a reduction unless you also received "substantial earnings" subject to SS withholding for at least 30 years.

The paperwork from my interview states that under penalty of perjury "I am not applying for benefits from England". It also says I am required to report a change if I "begin to receive a government pension ...(from ... any State...)"
thursdaysd is offline  
Jun 22nd, 2013, 07:31 AM
  #69  
 
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Thursdaysd, the current position in respect of the NHS is at
http://www.nhs.uk/NHSEngland/AboutNH...-services.aspx

Eligibility isn't related to payment of NI contributions, or citizenship on its own, but rather what you are and have been doing in the UK.
PatrickLondon is offline  
Jun 22nd, 2013, 07:59 AM
  #70  
 
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Thursday,

I am obviously wrong. Not sure how my sister-in-law and husband managed it as they did not have substanial earnings in the US for more than 30 years. I suppose I may have had, depending on how substantial is defined.

My husband's interview was over the phone with the SS people in Paris. I can't remember which came first, that interview or the UK application by mail.

Anyway, I wish you the best of luck--annig's message on the winter fuel allowance is a bit of good news, I think it's £200 a year and is not means-tested or taxed. When do you plan to move back?
Cathinjoetown is offline  
Jun 22nd, 2013, 10:13 AM
  #71  
 
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Cathinjoe - Maybe the Paris office didn't ask? I'm currently renovating my house with plans to put it on the market early next year. Then I figure to go nomad for a while. I'm thinking I would get to England early 2015. I haven't decided where to finish up in Europe, but I thought that starting in the UK made sense. I see that you are in France and I remember reading recently that in order to get on the French health system I would need to be drawing a UK pension, do you know if that's true?

Patrick - thanks for the link. I notice that I would be covered if I were a "UK state pensioner living overseas", otherwise I need to establish residency, which is what I expected. I have paid for treatment on previous visits. It may be worth the cut to my SS benefits...
thursdaysd is offline  
Jun 22nd, 2013, 11:59 AM
  #72  
 
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what a minefield, thursdays.

I had a look at the rules for the winter fuel payment, and at the moment it is not means tested; if you are under 80 but over 61, you get it so long as you are in the UK or the EC or Switzerland. if you are not in the UK, you have to show a substantial link with the UK, whatever that is.

here's the link:

https://www.gov.uk/winter-fuel-payment/eligibility

if you followed your idea to start off in the UK, that would establish your link to the UK once you'd moved to wherever in europe. but £200 isn't going to get you very far.

EC countries are supposed to have reciprocal arrangements from NI and health benefits. Hence if you are, say, a UK citizen living in France, you should be entitled to the same treatment on the same terms as french citizens. generally I believe this is that they pay 25% of the cost; the rest is re-imbursed to them.

once you had established yourself here in the UK, moving to France, say, should then be easier.
annhig is offline  
Jun 22nd, 2013, 02:15 PM
  #73  
 
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thursday,

I would certainly weigh the pros and cons of obtaining a UK state pension. For example, you are paying I would guess around $100 a month out of your Social Security payment for Medicare Part B. If you do not plan to return to live in the US, you could drop this.

To join the French health system as a pensioner, you must be receiving a UK state pension and be resident in France. You would be covered through a reciprocal agreement between the UK and France. This takes awhile to get set up, my husband received he initial paperwork from the UK when he turned 65 which when completed triggers a notice from the UK to France which then triggers its paperwork loop. In all, about 4 months.

Annig is correct about the coverage, it varies from 65% to 75% up to 100% for a maladie longue durée. I have asthma which is considered a maladie longue durée so anything associated with that is covered at 100%.

Most people in France take out a mutuelle policy which tops up coverage to 100% across the board. These are issued without evidence of insurability. We pay, for both of us, 125€ a month. The premiums do go up annually, in our case we were advised about 6%-8%.

If you only plan to travel you should establish residency first in the UK to obtain an EHIC card which entitles you to emergency treatment in any EU country while traveling. You do not have to be a UK pension recipient to obtain an EHIC, but I believe you have to be enrolled with the NHS. There is no cost.

I wish I could tell you we found an advisor or expert who walked us through all of this. They probably exist but we didn't discover one!
Cathinjoetown is offline  
Jun 22nd, 2013, 03:10 PM
  #74  
 
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Thanks so much, cathinjoe! I have been finding more info for US citizens moving to France than for UK citizens, but then I am in the US right now!
thursdaysd is offline  
Jun 22nd, 2013, 10:06 PM
  #75  
 
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>> You do not have to be a UK pension recipient to obtain an EHIC, but I believe you have to be enrolled with the NHS. <<

You need a National Insurance number and to be "ordinarily resident" in the UK.
http://www.nhs.uk/NHSEngland/Healthc...-the-ehic.aspx
PatrickLondon is offline  

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