Once again, our good friend Steven M. Fry from Yucalandia comes up with a really interesting article that delves into the details of the good systems worked out by the U.S. Social Security Administration and Mexican banks, truly useful for Americans who’ve retired to Mexico.
The Federal Benefits Unit (FBU), located at the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City (and also at the US Consulates in Guadalajara and Ciudad Juarez), provides services to Social Security, Veterans Affairs, Office of Personnel Management and railroad pension beneficiaries throughout Mexico.
For details, see:
U.S. Embassy Mexico Federal Benefits information.
The U.S. Embassy system has three Federal Benefit Unit locations in Mexico: the U.S. Embassy Mexico City (servicing all states in red, including YUCATAN), the U.S. Consulate General Guadalajara (servicing states in white), and the U.S. Consulate General Ciudad Juarez (servicing states in green).
The Federal Benefits Unit operates on an appointment-only system. Use the FBU online form to schedule an appointment or to obtain information. The FBUs try to respond to e-mail inquiries within 3 working days. As a part of their Mission holiday schedule they are closed the last working day of the month for administrative duties.
U.S. Embassy Mexico City: FBU.email@example.com
U.S. Consulate Guadalajara: FBU.firstname.lastname@example.org
U.S. Consulate Ciudad Juarez: FBU.email@example.com
Since we are in the Red Zone, we can email them at FBU.Mexico.City@ssa.gov or call 01-55 1102 6300 between 8:30-1:00pm (Mexico City time). The U.S. Social Security Administration website also has more details.
Individuals requiring FBU-related assistance in Merida should make an appointment. Click here for more information on How to Make an Appointment at the US Consulate General Merida.
The US Consulate arranges for the deposit of Social Security benefits directly to Mexican bank accounts. They require
~ a local Mexican address
~ the CLABE** of your Mexican bank account and
~ a picture ID.
So, contact Social Security and set up the direct deposit account just as you would for a US bank, which requires having an existing Mexican bank account and the correct routing (and CLABE) numbers.
**Clave Bancaria Estandarizada, (CLABE) is Spanish for “standardized banking cipher” that IDs bank accounts in Mexico. The CLABE account code has 18 digits.
Past gringo internet reports say they’ve been happy with Scotiabank, Bancomer, and Banamex’s direct deposit services.
How it works:
Your funds are issued by the US Treasury and sent to Banco de Mexico and then to your Mexican bank account. Because of this, the system is fairly quick (usually by the 3’rd business day of the month), and we get very favorable exchange rates.
Example: Some January 2016 SSI deposits (Banamex) have arrived on Jan. 1, by 2 pm. with an exchange rate of $17.22 MXN pesos per $1 USD … while other January 2016 deposits (Bancomer) came in on Dec. 31, 2015.
Deposits (wire transfers) usually show-up online mid-afternoon.
Once we’ve successfully competed our application with SSI / FBU, the deposits begin showing up the next month after switching banks.
Based on a 1971 “Totalization Agreement” between the USA-Mexico, we do NOT file Mexican taxes on this income.
For more details, see:
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