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Thai Retirement Visas: Pensions and American Retirees

Transcript of the above video:

As the title of this video suggests, we are discussing pensions in the context of Thai Retirement Visas and we are specifically discussing this in the context of Americans. The reason I bring this up, we actually got an email from a viewer of this channel. We thank them for that. They sent me the attachment that I am going to quote from here momentarily. 

I have been thinking of this myself because I get a lot of Americans who ask me about financial evidence associated with Retirement Visa processing. I am always hesitant to talk pensions with Americans because quite frankly not many Americans have a pension, have what you would call a defined benefit plan pension. This is very different from for example clients from Australia or the UK or Europe where pensions are much more common but, in the US, not so much and some context as to why was brought to my attention from a viewer and we thank them for sending this article. This is from, the article is titled: How 401(K) Brought About the Death of Pensions. Quoting directly: "Until the 1980s, most Americans planned for retirement through pensions. Quoting further: "That changed when Congress passed a new tax code in the Revenue Act of 1978. The Act included a provision in the eternal revenue code section 401(K)." Quoting further: "Within a decade, the majority of workers overall were in a 401(K) rather than a traditional pension." To be clear, probably folks from the UK or Australia aren't going to be interested in this but to provide a little bit of definition, a 401(K) is not a pension per se. It is a mechanism, sort of a savings mechanism that defers tax liability. It may defer it forever, it may mitigate it completely, again depending on your situation. Don't take that to the bank. You need to deal with your own taxes on an individual basis.

401(K)s can have benefits at least from the standpoint of deferring certain liability in terms of taxation. For this reason, a lot of folks in America have 401(K)s and they have asked me “what about this documentation? I don't have a pension per se, I have a 401(K).” We are doing another video contemporaneously with this one where we talk about 401(K) documentation specifically in the context of Consular processing so that is case processing at a Thai Embassy for a Retirement Visa. But over here in Thailand, when you are dealing with for example a Retirement Visa extension, generally speaking they either want to see a certain amount, 65,000 Baht a month coming into your bank account in Thailand or they want to see 800,000 Baht balance. Those are the two hard and fast rules with respect to extensions.

This can be problematic with respect to a 401(K) because how do you set that up to be in compliance with Thai rule?  It is probably a good idea to possibly contact a legal professional who can give you some insight and guidance into how to deal with that and square that circle.  There are remedies to it. Oftentimes it requires one taking certain steps each month to ensure that a certain amount of money hits their account or taking steps to ensure they maintain a year-round balance that meets the requirements. But yes, there generally speaking are ways to rectify the 401(K) with one's Retirement Visa status here in the Kingdom.