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Topic: Social Security questions  (Read 2081 times)

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Re: Social Security questions
« Reply #45 on: September 04, 2019, 09:01:43 AM »
Nope. It's different every month. The rate I am paid in dollars changes only with the COLA every year. How that ends up as £ in my UK bank changes monthly. Until this month's disbursement it was pretty much matching the exchange rate. But this month's is slightly off - I'm getting a dollar as being equivalent to £1.2235 when the exchange rate this morning was around 1.19. Hmmm. Perhaps it was higher just after midnight, when they dumped the money into the Irish bank to transfer over to me in pounds?


Interesting.  BTW, the dollar has never been equivalent to £1.2235.  It's the other way round.


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Re: Social Security questions
« Reply #46 on: September 04, 2019, 12:24:49 PM »
Interesting.  BTW, the dollar has never been equivalent to £1.2235.  It's the other way round.

Yeah, I always manage to write that backwards.


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Re: Social Security questions
« Reply #47 on: September 04, 2019, 01:01:34 PM »
Yeah, I always manage to write that backwards.
Personally wish it was the other way round!  Other opinions are available.


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Re: Social Security questions
« Reply #48 on: September 04, 2019, 02:30:25 PM »
Not me! All my income is in US Dollars.  ;D

Of course,  the Daughter, whose only income is in UK pounds, isn't too thrilled right now.


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Re: Social Security questions
« Reply #49 on: September 04, 2019, 02:35:50 PM »
My understanding, based on a discussion I followed some years ago, is that the exchange rate is fixed when the US start their payments.  People in that discussion were complaining that the rate had changed over the years and that they were now losing out - but once the rate is set it's never reviewed.  Of course, there's winners and losers.  Some were suggesting (good luck!) that the US should review the rate periodically, say every year.

In an effort to clear up the confusion, you are 100% accurate, spot on. Unfortunately, there can be two SSA figures, and the above is for SSA calculations requiring WEP calculations. WEP is determined at the time of application/awarding of the benefit or when a new UK pension is taken after award of the SSA benefit. The exchange rate used to calculate WEP applicability on UK pensions is fixed at that time and cannot be changed when rates vary in the future.

Once that WEPed benefit is calculated, it becomes the Month 1 benefit. After that point, as has been pointed out, the Month 1 benefit is adjusted for yearly COLA and monthly variances in exchange rates. If there is no WEP, the standard calculation for SSA benefit is automatically Month 1 and changes accordingly. I believe Nan D. is in the latter situation.


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Re: Social Security questions
« Reply #50 on: September 04, 2019, 02:36:47 PM »
Not me! All my income is in US Dollars.  ;D

Of course,  the Daughter, whose only income is in UK pounds, isn't too thrilled right now.
But if your income is in dollars and you live in the UK you are laughing at the moment, no?

My 401k is paid out in dollars (obviously), which I transfer to the UK.  With the dollar being so strong (or the pound weak, whichever) I'm much better off.

If I were going on holiday to the US I wouldn't be so happy though.


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Re: Social Security questions
« Reply #51 on: September 04, 2019, 02:42:16 PM »
In an effort to clear up the confusion, you are 100% accurate, spot on. Unfortunately, there can be two SSA figures, and the above is for SSA calculations requiring WEP calculations. WEP is determined at the time of application/awarding of the benefit or when a new UK pension is taken after award of the SSA benefit. The exchange rate used to calculate WEP applicability on UK pensions is fixed at that time and cannot be changed when rates vary in the future.

Once that WEPed benefit is calculated, it becomes the Month 1 benefit. After that point, as has been pointed out, the Month 1 benefit is adjusted for yearly COLA and monthly variances in exchange rates. If there is no WEP, the standard calculation for SSA benefit is automatically Month 1 and changes accordingly. I believe Nan D. is in the latter situation.

Ah OK.  Thanks for that clarification.  As I said, the conversation I followed was a good few years ago, so I couldn't remember the exact topic being discussed but I knew it was something to do with the exchange rate being fixed at inception.  I did remember people complaining that they were losing out.  People don't tend to complain if it's in their favour!


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Re: Social Security questions
« Reply #52 on: September 04, 2019, 02:47:59 PM »
Ok, I am curious.  I got my SSA payment on the 3rd of the month, as always.  I know what the dollar amount is, and I know what the pound amount that arrives is, so I can divide and get the exchange rate.  Here are the rates for the last few months.

May   1.3046
June   1.2626
July    1.2702
Aug    1.2168
Sept   1.2235

I was always told (or thought so) that I'd get the best exchange rate by having the government deposit the money directly into my UK bank (granted, it comes via Bank of Ireland).  When I look at the published exchange rates for the last few days, I find on https://www.exchangerates.org.uk/GBP-USD-03_09_2019-exchange-rate-history.html the following:

On September 03, 2019 the Official GBP to USD Exchange Rate:
Close: 1 GBP = 1.2087 USD
Best: 1 GBP = 1.2106 USD
Worst: 1 GBP = 1.1959 USD

The rate my Sept 3 payment got was $1.2235.  I don't understand why that would be if the highest it traded at was $1.2106? Granted, we're shaving pennies here, but I'm curious?


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Re: Social Security questions
« Reply #53 on: September 04, 2019, 03:05:11 PM »
I don't know what time they make the conversion, but these are the rates going on the two days:

On August 2 (August 3 was a Saturday), the GBP/USD had a range of 1.2091 to 1.2170.  It opened at 1.2117 and closed at 1.2161.

On September 3, the GBP/USD had a range of 1.1959 to 1.2106.  It opened at 1.2064 and closed at 1.2084.

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Re: Social Security questions
« Reply #54 on: September 04, 2019, 03:55:31 PM »
I wonder if they loaded it in early, as Monday 2 Sept was a holiday in the USA? Otherwise, the rate I got for 3 Sept was higher than what the rates were for that day....


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Re: Social Security questions
« Reply #55 on: September 27, 2019, 09:32:30 PM »
You guys are all experts here so I thought maybe I would put my question in this thread..

I think we are going to be heading home next fall and I have a condition that now qualifies me for social security / disability, though I am well under the starting age (42). Can I still claim if I have been living here, or at least start the paperwork? Or do I have to move home and then file? I have more than the 40 credits, but does by time in the UK count? Is there anyone I could speak to about this?


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Re: Social Security questions
« Reply #56 on: December 11, 2019, 01:34:02 PM »
Just a quick update: I've finally received my first phone call from the FBU.  Now I have an (phone call) appointment arranged for late January 2020 - the first one available!  If you look back you'll see that I first made contact with the FBU, via a form on their website, in July 2019.  Having heard nothing, I submitted again in September.

Moral of the story is, if you're anywhere close to wanting to take your SS retirement benefit, don't delay - and be prepared for a long wait!


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