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Old 07-23-2012, 03:18 PM   #21
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The advantage I see to our status (DW is also dual US/UK) is that we can choose to move back to the UK for whatever reason. I already receive a UK private pension, and will begin receiving a 2nd at age 65, plus I'll also get the UK version of SS since I paid into it for ~17 years. (I've paid into the US SS for 22 years).

I have no knowledge about dual citizenship other than UK/US
Just curious: Will you also qualify to receive the US SS as well? My DH mentioned that thanks to the tax treaty between the USA and Germany he will be able to claim either German SS or the US SS, depending on its amount. Not sure I understood him well, because how can you do that when you've spent your earning years in the USA only (with an exception of 3-5 years of part-time in Germany)...We'll find out more in 20 years when he'll investigate this question more.
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Old 07-23-2012, 03:46 PM   #22
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Just curious: Will you also qualify to receive the US SS as well? My DH mentioned that thanks to the tax treaty between the USA and Germany he will be able to claim either German SS or the US SS, depending on its amount. Not sure I understood him well, because how can you do that when you've spent your earning years in the USA only (with an exception of 3-5 years of part-time in Germany)...We'll find out more in 20 years when he'll investigate this question more.
I am able to claim both UK and US SS because I paid more than 40 quarters (10 years) into each system. (I paid into it for 17 years). DW is not eligible to her own UK SS because she didn't work and pay into the UK system long enough. She left work 4 years after graduation when we had our first child, and by the time the younger of the 2 was 4 yrs old we had moved to the US. She will be getting US SS because she paid into it for 18 years.

I don't know what the rules are in Germany, but would be surprised if 3-5 years was enough.
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Old 07-23-2012, 05:14 PM   #23
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We do not have UK or EU citizenship but we do have what was once referrred to a Patriality Status in the UK by virtue of where our parents/grandparents were born. Our son was able to live and work in the UK for 9 months last year based on the same status.

It does not give us any tax advantage that I am aware of but it does give us the ability for to regiser for a national number (?) and it gives us access to social programs, including health insurance.
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Old 07-23-2012, 05:46 PM   #24
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I was born in the UK in '55 to American parents. Pretty sure I could qualify for UK citizenship and have considered seeking dual US and UK citizenship. Just not sure how this would impact so many things including SS, DH's retirement, health insurance, etc. Not only if I obtained dual citizenship, but if DH and I decided to move to the UK at some future date. BTW, he was born in in the USA so another question would be his status.

Not likely we'd make a move soon due to family ties here, but it's good to know your options. We kinda like having options in this uncertain world.
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Old 07-23-2012, 06:03 PM   #25
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We do not have UK or EU citizenship but we do have what was once referrred to a Patriality Status in the UK by virtue of where our parents/grandparents were born. Our son was able to live and work in the UK for 9 months last year based on the same status.

It does not give us any tax advantage that I am aware of but it does give us the ability for to regiser for a national number (?) and it gives us access to social programs, including health insurance.
That would be a National Insurance number, equivalent to SS number in the USA.

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I was born in the UK in '55 to American parents. Pretty sure I could qualify for UK citizenship and have considered seeking dual US and UK citizenship. Just not sure how this would impact so many things including SS, DH's retirement, health insurance, etc. Not only if I obtained dual citizenship, but if DH and I decided to move to the UK at some future date. BTW, he was born in in the USA so another question would be his status.

Not likely we'd make a move soon due to family ties here, but it's good to know your options. We kinda having options in this uncertain world.
Having dual UK citizenship would not impact any of the things you mention, and I do believe that your DH would also be eligible as the law changed on 1/1/1982. After that date, being born in the UK or marrying a UK citizen does make you a UK citizen.

The UK does not tax you on world-wide income like the US, but UK citizens are not allowed to vote if they are not tax paying residents. (you have to be a resident to pay taxes, even on UK income).

However, all things can change so I wouldn't go and get UK citizenship just because you can.
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Old 07-23-2012, 06:04 PM   #26
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I was born in the UK in '55 ....
So was I
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Old 07-23-2012, 06:51 PM   #27
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So was I
How interesting. Both of us born in the UK in '55 and both of us ended up in the USA. Very different paths leading to a similiar place. I feel very fortunate to be connected to both countries. I love them both.
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Old 07-24-2012, 06:35 AM   #28
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You can qualify for a social security pension from two (or more) countries if you have the required number of contributions. The obvious way to get them is to work in both countries. Say you work for 20 years in the UK and then for 20 years in the US, you'd get a pension from both countries, but it would be less than full benefit because of your less than complete work record.

However, if you are able to make voluntary payments into a social security system while you are working in another country you can get full pensions from two countries.

For example, consider a UK citizen who moves to work in the US at age 25. The UK allows them to make voluntary UK National Insurance contributions and they must obviously also pay FICA. If they work until age 55 they will have 30 years of payments into both the US and UK systems and will qualify for full benefits from both.
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Old 07-24-2012, 07:49 AM   #29
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You can qualify for a social security pension from two (or more) countries if you have the required number of contributions. The obvious way to get them is to work in both countries. Say you work for 20 years in the UK and then for 20 years in the US, you'd get a pension from both countries, but it would be less than full benefit because of your less than complete work record.

However, if you are able to make voluntary payments into a social security system while you are working in another country you can get full pensions from two countries.

For example, consider a UK citizen who moves to work in the US at age 25. The UK allows them to make voluntary UK National Insurance contributions and they must obviously also pay FICA. If they work until age 55 they will have 30 years of payments into both the US and UK systems and will qualify for full benefits from both.
Correct me if I'm wrong, but I thought I heard somewhere that if you work for an employer who does not withhold Social Security taxes from your salary, such as an employer in another country, the pension you get based on that work may reduce your Social Security benefits.
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Old 07-24-2012, 08:10 AM   #30
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Correct me if I'm wrong, but I thought I heard somewhere that if you work for an employer who does not withhold Social Security taxes from your salary, such as an employer in another country, the pension you get based on that work may reduce your Social Security benefits.
A social security pension from another country will not affect the one you receive in the US unless there is a treaty to that effect in place. Nevermind
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Old 07-24-2012, 08:16 AM   #31
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Correct me if I'm wrong, but I thought I heard somewhere that if you work for an employer who does not withhold Social Security taxes from your salary, such as an employer in another country, the pension you get based on that work may reduce your Social Security benefits.
As Nun says, you get SS based on your contributions.

Having worked and made some contributions into both the UK and US SS systems I am entitled to a reduced SS in both countries. I only contributed for 23 years into the US system and the amount you get is based on 35 years, so I have 12 years with zero FICA payments. (I had a 7 year period where I paid into both systems).
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Old 07-24-2012, 09:09 AM   #32
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As Nun says, you get SS based on your contributions.

Having worked and made some contributions into both the UK and US SS systems I am entitled to a reduced SS in both countries. I only contributed for 23 years into the US system and the amount you get is based on 35 years, so I have 12 years with zero FICA payments. (I had a 7 year period where I paid into both systems).
Thanks for clarifying. I had been told by my local SS office that my benefits would be reduced based on my work in a foreign country. They claimed that the 23 years of contributions (as an example) would be further reduced by some complicated formula they had based on how much my foreign pension added up to. I'm years away from having to deal with it, so I guess I won't worry about figuring it out just yet.
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Old 07-24-2012, 09:22 AM   #33
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Correct me if I'm wrong, but I thought I heard somewhere that if you work for an employer who does not withhold Social Security taxes from your salary, such as an employer in another country, the pension you get based on that work may reduce your Social Security benefits.
You are correct, the reduction is called the Windfall Elimination Provision, WEP.

So for the person who worked 20 years in the UK and 20 years in the US, the US SS would be reduced. However, if you work for 30 years in the US WEP does not apply. Also WEP does not apply if the non-SS pension is from voluntary payments ie not connected with employment overseas.

I my case I have made 30 years of voluntary UK NI payments and will get full UK state pension when I turn 66. I also have 17 years of US SS payments. My UK NI pension will not affect my US SS pension as it is from voluntary payments. However, I will be WEPed because I have worked for the past 8 years for a US state that has opted out of SS and I will receive a pension from that state when I retire.
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Old 07-24-2012, 10:12 AM   #34
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I have friends that are collecting US SS and pensions in other countries and their SS is not offset by WEP. This seems to mean they are not reporting their foreign pensions.
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Old 07-24-2012, 10:37 AM   #35
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I have friends that are collecting US SS and pensions in other countries and their SS is not offset by WEP. This seems to mean they are not reporting their foreign pensions.
That might be the case. You must report any pensions due to non-SS wages to the SSA so they can see if WEP is required. However, your friends will be entitled to full SS even with pensions derived from non-SS wages if they have at least 30 years of SS payments. Of course US citizens and US residents must enter foreign pensions on their 1040.
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Old 07-24-2012, 10:43 AM   #36
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That might be the case. You must report any pensions due to non-SS wages to the SSA so they can see if WEP is required. However, your friends will be entitled to full SS even with pensions derived from non-SS wages if they have at least 30 years of SS payments. Of course US citizens and US residents must enter foreign pensions on their 1040.
Thanks for this info. I just read the SS pub on WEP and learned something new. A bit of a bummer for folks that have a small foreign pension and now a reduced SS as well.
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Old 07-24-2012, 11:05 AM   #37
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Thanks for this info. I just read the SS pub on WEP and learned something new. A bit of a bummer for folks that have a small foreign pension and now a reduced SS as well.
The amount of WEP is in part based on the size of your non-SS pension. It's done so that the calculation of your SS is adjusted to account for the smaller number of SS contributions rather than erroneously using your lower than appropriate average contribution amounts. The current maximum amount of WEP is $386/month.
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Old 07-24-2012, 11:16 AM   #38
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The amount of WEP is in part based on the size of your non-SS pension. It's done so that the calculation of your SS is adjusted to account for the smaller number of SS contributions rather than erroneously using your lower than appropriate average contribution amounts. The current maximum amount of WEP is $386/month.
Thanks. I found a chart (here) and calculator (here) at the SSA website. This is one of those few moments when not having a company pension and having a small SS payment isn't all that bad.
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Old 07-24-2012, 12:17 PM   #39
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A friend of mine, until very recently had dual US and Canadian citizenship. He has lived in Canada for a long time, married, etc.

He recently went through the process of renouncing his US citizenship for tax reasons. He tells me that this is not an unusual occourance. The room at the US embassy where those who were renouncing was apparently SRO. He would have preferred to keep his dual citizenship but just did not want to file and pay the tax.
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Old 07-24-2012, 01:00 PM   #40
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A friend of mine, until very recently had dual US and Canadian citizenship. He has lived in Canada for a long time, married, etc.

He recently went through the process of renouncing his US citizenship for tax reasons. He tells me that this is not an unusual occourance. The room at the US embassy where those who were renouncing was apparently SRO. He would have preferred to keep his dual citizenship but just did not want to file and pay the tax.
It's generally not the amount of tax to be paid that's the issue as tax credits usually cover any US tax due from a US citizen living overseas. The reasons to renounce are the complexity of the US tax code, the restrictions the US places on certain foreign investments and the fines imposed by the IRS for incorrect filing.
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