Will I Be Eligible For U.S. Social Security Benefits Even If I'm Getting A UK Pension?

Jun 28 2018 - 7:13am

I am a US citizen and lived and worked in the UK for 38 years. Was eligible for UK pension at 60. Decided to defer to age 70 as I want to take the 10 year balance as a lump sum which is possible in the UK. I returned to the US in 2010 and as I had not worked here am in the process of accruing the 40 units necessary for medicare and social security. Will I be entitled to get social security here at 70 when I have accrued the necessary 40 credits? even though I will also be claiming a UK pension? Question Number 2. I have just taken out Part A and B - Part A premium is $232 plus penalty for not taking at 65 as I understood I was not eligible because I didn't have 40 credits. When I reach 40 credits next year, will I be able to get Part A without a premium? THANK YOU


Yes, if you have 40 quarters of U.S. Social Security coverage you'll be able to receive Social Security retirement benefits and get Part A of Medicare premium free. However, if you're also receiving a pension based on your work in the U.K. your U.S. Social Security benefit rate will almost certainly be lowered due to the Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP) (https://www.ssa.gov/planners/retire/wep.html).

As a matter of fact, it sounds like you may already be eligible for totalization benefits based on the agreement between the U.S. and the U.K. Basically, the agreement allows you to potentially receive credit for your U.K. earnings in order to create eligibility for a benefit from the U.S. You may want to re-contact Social Security to check on your eligibility for totalization benefits.

Best, Jerry