Believe it or not, UK citizens who live and work in the US may be eligible to obtain a UK State pension. Depending on your age and work history, the benefits can be astonishingly generous even if you paid little or nothing into the UK system, because you may be permitted to make your National Insurance (“NI”) contributions on a ‘catch-up’ basis.
We assist eligible clients living in the US to pay these voluntary NI contributions so as to maximize their UK State pension at retirement age.
Failure to apply and to contribute timely may cause your opportunity to increase in cost or disappear.
AND YOU MUST ACT BEFORE YOU REACH RETIREMENT AGE!
If you’re past retirement age (normally in the range 63-66 depending on your history and when you apply), you aren't allowed to make ‘catch-up’ contributions. But even if you’re ineligible to make them, we can still assist you with your application to receive whatever vested UK pension rights you may have based on your UK work history.
In our experience, HM Revenue and Customs (“HMRC”) advises eligible applicants to pay their voluntary NI contributions as soon as possible. So, we recommend you both apply and, if determined to be eligible, make your contribution arrangements as soon as possible.
Consider the retirement benefits that we achieved for our Clients:
Our CLIENT A:
He left the UK in 1982 having worked there for only four years. He then lived continuously in the US and is now approaching retirement age. After our submissions to HMRC, and his payment of roughly £1,600 in ’catch-up’ voluntary contributions, he can continue to contribute until he reaches age 66, when he may receive a pension of almost £5,000 per year for the rest of his life.
Our CLIENT B:
He left the UK in 1977 having worked there for only four years. He then lived continuously in the US and is now approaching retirement age. After our submissions to HMRC, and his payment of roughly £1,500 in ’catch-up’ voluntary contributions, he can continue to contribute until he reaches age 65, when he may receive a pension of almost £4,000 per year for the rest of his life.
Actual examples. Your results will vary, according to your history and contributions.
What We Do
Except as described below (“what we don’t do”), on your enrollment and payment of a one-time fee we will guide you through the whole application up to your receiving a decision letter from HMRC. Then it’s up to you and your financial advisors.
We’re with you the whole way until HMRC’s decision, providing you with easy to complete forms and helping you fill in the blanks. From your answers and our research, we’ll establish your Government Gateway online account with HMRC, find out your pension status, and if you’re not eligible for any pension, we will refund you the fee, minus our actual out of pocket expenses (mailing, messenger, etc.) incurred to that point for your file.
HMRC’s review is lengthy, but it’s worth the wait—as you can see, the estimated benefits to our Clients A and B are substantial. And, if you’re eligible to make them, these are voluntary NI contributions. So once you have HMRC’s decision, it’s your choice whether to make the payments, and maximize your potential pension benefits.
To start, we’ll need your National Insurance Number. Can’t find it? No worry, we’ll try to get it for you (for no additional fee)! Be aware though that this will make the process significantly longer.
Once you hear back from HMRC with their decision, we close your file and, if eligible, provide you with the link to HMRC’s “Claim your State Pension” form which you must file with HMRC within 4 months of your retirement:
What We Don't Do
It’s your and your financial advisors’ responsibility to calendar and timely apply to HMRC for any state pension before retirement, using the form we provide you when we close your file. We don't provide tax, legal, financial, insurance, or other advice, nor promote, market, or recommend any tax plan or arrangement. We recommend that you consult your advisors for guidance with your individual situation, and in particular whether UK pension payments may affect your US Social Security payments.
Beyond researching your NI number, we don’t investigate information you provide us to put in your NI contribution application, but HMRC will. You should be aware that HMRC has access to information including your tax, passport, medical and income history etc., and sharing agreements with the US and other countries.
Also, if for any reason HMRC’s decision is adverse, we don’t provide appeal services.
READY TO GET STARTED?
HMRC is a sovereign entity; its decisions are based on the current UK law which can change at any time, including as to contributions, vesting and pension payments, for which we are not responsible. Your risks also include decrease in the value of your UK sterling pension due to factors including currency exchange rate moves and inflation.
Liquidated Damages; Arbitration of Disputes
You agree that the value of your pension rights are speculative, HMRC’s decisions are not under our control, and our only liability to you in the event of any dispute over our services is in the amount of your paid fee, minus our actual expenses for your file. In the event of any dispute, you agree to binding arbitration in Los Angeles County California under California law under the rules of the American Arbitration Association.