Pension from homeland for immigrants in the USA: who can receive it and on what conditions

Many immigrants after moving to the United States do not really hope to receive a pension from their homeland, even if they have spent many years of life, strength and health working in this country. Unfortunately, not all states consider it necessary to pay pensions to those who have gone to live abroad. Citizens of the USA, Switzerland, Japan, New Zealand, Norway, Israel, Latvia and many other countries can easily receive the pensions they have earned, wherever they live. Let's see how things are going with the payment of pensions by Russia and Ukraine to their citizens living abroad.

Pension from homeland for immigrants in the USA: who can receive it and under what conditions

Photo: Shutterstock

Russia: has citizenship & # 8211; have a pension

Russia pays and has always paid pensions to its citizens. The conditions for receiving a Russian pension are the presence of Russian citizenship, age, and experience. Moreover, citizenship is confirmed exclusively by a valid Russian passport.

If your passport has expired, then you will not be able to resolve any issues related to retirement benefits until you renew your passport. All those who permanently resided in the territory of the Russian Federation as of February 6, 1992, as well as those who acquired Russian citizenship after that date in accordance with the established procedure, have the right to obtain a Russian passport.

I am forced to upset those who left Russia for permanent residence abroad before 1992 – unfortunately, these people are not entitled to receive Russian pensions, since Russia does not recognize them as its citizens.

pension, it is not necessary to go to Russia – all the necessary steps can be performed remotely through a notarized power of attorney. By the way, you can properly issue a power of attorney, which will be accepted both in Russia and in other countries, in our office.

So, your representative in Russia, armed with your power of attorney, will be able to apply to the pension fund for the appointment of your pension. To do this, he will need your work book (if absent, it can be restored). If there is not enough seniority, it can be covered by the time of study in higher educational institutions, parental leave, in addition, there are other ways that are called “stretch the seniority.”

If you already have a pension, then you need to support its payment by submitting a certificate of being alive to the pension fund (also known as the Personal Appearance Act “).

A certificate of being alive is provided to the Pension Fund to confirm that the applicant is alive and, accordingly, is eligible for a pension. The fact is that in the event of the death of a Russian citizen abroad, the pension fund runs the risk of never finding out about it (the foreign registry office, of course, will not notify it about this), therefore, they require pensioners living abroad to provide an annual certificate of the fact of their presence. alive. If you do not do this, then at first the payment of your pension will be suspended, and eventually, it will be stopped altogether.

There is a widespread misconception that a certificate of being alive can be issued exclusively at the Russian consulate. Many of those who adhere to this myth have already lost their pensions. In fact, a certificate of the fact of being alive can be notarized with an apostille, and this document will have full legal force, and will be accepted by the bodies of the pension fund unconditionally, thanks to the Hague Convention of 1961.

The most common reason for refusing to accept a foreign document is its incorrect execution. In order for your document to be accepted, it must not only contain an apostille, it must also be properly executed. The presence of an apostille does not add legitimacy to the document, which was originally drawn up with errors.

Legally correct paperwork is the primary condition for receiving your pension, so do not write documents on your knees and contact professionals.

 Pension from homeland for immigrants in the United States: who can receive it and under what conditions

Karina Duval … Photo from personal archive

Ukraine: courts are on the side of emigrants, but the Pension Fund is in no hurry to pay pensions

For many years, the situation with Ukrainian pensions for emigrants was as follows: since you left, we don't owe you anything. The Pension Fund of Ukraine still continues to insist on this policy, but the courts disagree with it and have already taken many decisions that allow Ukrainians living abroad to receive Ukrainian pensions.

The most important in this regard is the decision of the Constitutional Court of Ukraine in the 25-rp/2009 case of October 7, 2009. The court ruled that any provisions of the law that would deprive Ukrainian citizens of the money they earned were unconstitutional.

That is, the Pension Fund's refusal to pay you a pension just because you do not live in Ukraine can be successfully challenged in court, citing the unconstitutionality of such a refusal. But there is a catch. If you were not paid your pension because of your inaction & # 8211; if you did not request it in time and did not provide the necessary documents, then the state will not compensate you for all the expired years, limiting itself to the statute of limitations, which is three years. But if your pension was not paid through the fault of the Pension Fund, then Ukraine is obliged to reimburse all the amounts you have not received that you are entitled to.

In 2019, the Supreme Court of Ukraine made three decisions at once concerning the payment of pensions to emigrants. On February 14, 2019, he recognized the actions of the Pension Fund as violating the constitutional rights of a citizen after the department decided to stop paying pensions to a Ukrainian woman who had moved to Israel. The Supreme Court of Ukraine stressed that the right to social protection is fundamental and under no circumstances can it be canceled or limited. Moreover, the court clearly indicated that a person's stay outside Ukraine and his lack of registration on the territory of the country cannot be reasons for denying him a pension.

On June 13, 2019, the Supreme Court of Ukraine made another important decision on this topic. He noted that the absence of a special international agreement between Ukraine and Israel cannot be a reason for refusing a pension to a citizen of Ukraine. That is, the existence of such an agreement is not mandatory.

On September 30, 2019, the Supreme Court indicated that a Ukrainian's right to receive a pension depends on his compliance with only two conditions: reaching the retirement age and having an insurance record. At the same time, his place of residence does not play any role at all.

That is, it is possible to receive a Ukrainian pension abroad, but, unfortunately, not for everyone. According to the decision of the Supreme Court of Ukraine, if you left abroad before August 24, 1991, you cannot apply for a Ukrainian pension, even if you have the necessary experience.

In 2020, the courts in Ukraine agreed that the right to receive pensions fall within the scope of Article 1 of the First Protocol of the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms. This means that the authorities cannot, under any pretext, take away this right from a citizen.

Thus, by its decisions, the Supreme Court of Ukraine recognized the right of citizens of Ukraine to receive a pension as unconditional, regardless of their country of residence and registration.

Despite the fact that the courts are ready to defend Ukrainians in the matter of pensions, Ukrainian citizens also have a number of responsibilities that must be fulfilled. In particular, they must renew their passport of a citizen of Ukraine in time, because a Ukrainian pension can only be issued with a valid passport.

In addition, you need to draw up a pension on the territory of Ukraine & # 8211; in person or by proxy. A power of attorney abroad can be issued in two ways & # 8211; at the embassy/consulate or notarized with an apostille. Our office in New York draws up powers of attorney for any purpose, including receiving a Ukrainian pension. In addition, we issue powers of attorney for the purchase and sale of real estate, for the opening and closing of companies, for the disposal of funds; in our office, you can also issue a consent to the sale of property acquired in marriage, an application for deregistration, consent for a child to travel abroad, a certificate of being alive, and much, much more. All documents are issued on a turnkey basis, with apostille and delivery anywhere in the world.

Material prepared in partnership with

Karina Duval & # 8211; notary, lawyer, international law expert

address: 1400 Ave Z, Office 507, Brooklyn, NY 11235
e-mail: karina .duvall @
cell: + 1-718 704 8558