US Social Security deposit to US vs Canadian bank

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MaggieA
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US Social Security deposit to US vs Canadian bank

Post by MaggieA »

US/Canadian dual citizen living in Canada, planning to retire this year and start collecting SS. Looking for advice on getting my SS payments directly deposited to a Canadian bank, vs sending them to our US bank account and then writing checks to move the money to Canada. Spouse is already retired and at the time he retired we didn't know direct deposit was an option, so his SS payments go to our US bank. I'm thinking that since I need to spend the money in Canada, it would be simpler to get it deposited directly to my Canadian chequing account. Pros and cons? Are there fees associated with this? Re fees, my late dad had a small pension from the New Zealand government, and BMO dinged him $14 wire transfer fee on each monthly deposit. If that happens with US SS deposits then I'd prefer to send the money to our US bank. I haven't succeeded in getting an answer on this from the bank, so wondering if anyone here has experience.
stewak2
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Re: US Social Security deposit to US vs Canadian bank

Post by stewak2 »

You could use a US Bank affiliated with a Canadian bank.
With TD Bank US and TD Canada Trust, you can link accounts and move money between them via Web banking, for free.
nelsona
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Re: US Social Security deposit to US vs Canadian bank

Post by nelsona »

SSA will deposit to foreign banks; it may be best to simply set up a US denominated account or as was suggested, a TD account in US linked to a CDn one, Royal may have the same arrangement. Its always handy to have a US account and credit card when in US.

https://www.ssa.gov/pubs/EN-05-10137.pdf

https://www.ssa.gov/international/countrylist6.htm

This would be q question you will ask when talking to SSA, which you will need to do anyways. for WEP purposes.
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nelsona
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Re: US Social Security deposit to US vs Canadian bank

Post by nelsona »

great info, ND
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exPenn
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Re: US Social Security deposit to US vs Canadian bank

Post by exPenn »

Another advantage of having your SS benefit direct deposited to a Canadian Bank. If you choose to receive your benefit in Canadian Dollars, it will be converted at the market exchange rate for that day. If you receive it in US dollars, and convert it yourself, the bank will typically take about 3% for itself. International SS benefits are paid out on the 3rd of each month (or the closest business day).
nelsona
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Re: US Social Security deposit to US vs Canadian bank

Post by nelsona »

Good point. On the other hand, a little US cash in a US account is always handy for making US purchases, and vacations, etc.
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MaggieA
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Re: US Social Security deposit to US vs Canadian bank

Post by MaggieA »

Thanks, everyone, for chipping in. I was actually already aware of most of what people shared - although the fact they shared it, makes me think this thread may be useful to others.

I already have a US bank account (carefully retained when we moved back to Canada), plus accounts in both CAD and USD at our Canadian bank (BMO). My husband's US Social Security is currently paid into our US bank account. As nelsona pointed out, this is handy for US vacations and purchases, etc. When excess funds build up in our US bank account (e.g. during the pandemic) we just write a check and deposit it in our BMO USD account. This occurs very infrequently and I don't feel any need for advice on how to make the procedure more efficient.

My question was posed because I was thinking that when I apply for my own Social Security (very soon), it would be advantageous to use the direct deposit to Canada option (via the form shared by ND), because of the rate advantage pointed out by exPenn, and because my SS will be much larger, and we'll really be wanting to spend it in Canadian dollars for living expenses. Therefore why not have SSA rate-efficiently send the money exactly where I need it to be?

The only reason I am (still) hesitating to try this is because the BMO used to ding my late dad $14 "wire transfer fee" every time his New Zealand government pension payment arrived. I would really like to know if they do this with direct deposits from SSA, because of course it would reduce or eliminate the advantage of the direct deposit. Was hoping somebody here might have experience of this.
exPenn
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Re: US Social Security deposit to US vs Canadian bank

Post by exPenn »

Both my wife and I receive our monthly SS payments in CAN$, converted at the market exchange rate, direct deposited into our TD checking accounts with no extra fees.
MaggieA
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Re: US Social Security deposit to US vs Canadian bank

Post by MaggieA »

Thanks, exPenn! That's what I wanted to know.

Now I'm trying to call my designated office to apply. The call has gone to dead air - there's no indication of whether or not it's in a queue or in some electronic limbo.
MaggieA
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Re: US Social Security deposit to US vs Canadian bank

Post by MaggieA »

I ended up applying for my US Social Security, and for it to be direct-deposited to my BMO account.My first payment was paid Oct 3 (according to my "My SSA" account. No sign of the deposit in my BMO account yet (today being Oct 7). exPenn or others, is this typical? How much delay is normal?
MaggieA
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Re: US Social Security deposit to US vs Canadian bank

Post by MaggieA »

Update: Apparently the SSA officer in Baltimore entered my Canadian banking information incorrectly. I'm still in the process of trying to get this resolved. Meanwhile, SSA sent me a paper check.
nelsona
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Re: US Social Security deposit to US vs Canadian bank

Post by nelsona »

Wow. At least it didn't make it into a wrong account. Heaven knows when SSA would have been able to retrieve the funds and give them to you!!
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MaggieA
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Re: US Social Security deposit to US vs Canadian bank

Post by MaggieA »

Final happy resolution. What worked was to fill out form SSA-1199-CN and submit it by fax. Payment at good exchange rate in my BMO account today.

https://www.ssa.gov/forms/ssa-1199-cn.pdf
https://www.ssa.gov/foreign/ (for fax number)
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