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Old Jul 14th 2016, 6:05 pm   #1
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Default UK basic state pension when moving back from Australia

For people who have worked in Australia prior to March 2001, are returning to the UK and do not have sufficient NI contributions to receive a full basic State Pension.

This info has undoubtedly been covered before on BE, but I'm posting it here and on the UK forum for those who aren't aware.

The Social Security Agreement between the UK and Australia ceased in April 2001. However, the UK government made 'special arrangements' regarding the UK basic state pension, so as not to disadvantage returnees who worked in Australia during the time the Agreement was active.

If you're returning to the UK from Australia, your NI record isn't sufficient to claim a full basic state pension, AND you don't receive a pension from the Australian government valued at more than 20 pounds per week, every confirmed week you worked in Australia prior to March 2001 is counted as a week's NI contributions. Depending on how many weeks you worked in Australia, you can claim NI contributions up to the full amount of the basic state pension.

For clarity, I'll use my husband as an example (with his permission, thanks scouse!). He had 25 years NI contributions when he moved to Australia at the age of 40. He then worked in Australia for 25 years, and we moved back to the UK last year when he was 66. He receives 25/30th of a full basic state pension, based on his 25 years NI record.

Scouse isn't eligible to get this topped up to the full rate, because he receives a small Australian aged pension (around 50 pounds per week). Had his income and assets been too high to receive this Oz pension, the UK government would have paid him the full basic state pension amount (due to his pre-March 2001 Australian work history plus his 25 years NI record).

If his Australian pension falls to between 10 and 20 pounds per week, his UK pension will increase by the amount he's 'lost', up to 20 pounds - in other words say his Australian pension reduced to 15 pounds per week, his UK pension would increase by 5 pounds per week.

If his Australia pension reduced to nil, his UK pension would increase up to the full amount of basic state pension.

If you've returned to the UK and receive any 'top up' amount under the above criteria, but leave the UK again, you lose that extra money.

I'm sorry but I don't know exactly how this works for people who need to claim the 'new' pension/universal credit, but I'd assume there'd be provision made for people who meet the Australian work history and Australian pension criteria.

I don't know that I've explained all that very well, but hopefully the info will be of some use
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Last edited by spouse of scouse; Jul 14th 2016 at 6:18 pm.
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Old Jul 14th 2016, 8:09 pm   #2
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Default Re: UK basic state pension when moving back from Australia

is it too late for him to request to top up his NIC's which as I understand it he is eligible to pay up to 6 years worth, because he has a shortfall in years to the max.

https://www.gov.uk/voluntary-nationa...-contributions

He'd still be under the old rules of 30 years NIC for full pension

This way at whatever cost they payback would be good.

Also, since you are 'spouse of the scouse' and he is collecting state pension, are you also not eligible to receive 60 (category B) pension based on his state pension?
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Old Jul 14th 2016, 8:31 pm   #3
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Default Re: UK basic state pension when moving back from Australia

from that link in post#2

https://www.gov.uk/voluntary-nationa...ions/deadlines

Deadlines

You can usually pay voluntary contributions for the past 6 years. The deadline is 5 April each year.

You can sometimes pay for gaps from more than 6 years ago, depending on your age.
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Old Jul 14th 2016, 8:35 pm   #4
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Default Re: UK basic state pension when moving back from Australia

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Originally Posted by not2old View Post
is it too late for him to request to top up his NIC's which as I understand it he is eligible to pay up to 6 years worth, because he has a shortfall in years to the max.

https://www.gov.uk/voluntary-nationa...-contributions

He'd still be under the old rules of 30 years NIC for full pension

This way at whatever cost they payback would be good.

Also, since you are 'spouse of the scouse' and he is collecting state pension, are you also not eligible to receive 60 (category B) pension based on his state pension?
Hello there. Thanks for the suggestions, but he's retired now and hasn't worked for a couple of years so is unable to pay back years, or even if he was they would be Class 3. He's pretty happy with what he gets I don't think the CatB pension works in our circumstaces (or even if it's still available) but I won't be applying. We're managing fine, and will soon have some rental income as we're buying a couple of small houses. That will stop the Oz pension, which we're very happy about - one less government department to deal with

I really just wanted to let those who didn't already know about the pre-2001 arrangements. Cheers.
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Old Jul 14th 2016, 8:41 pm   #5
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Default Re: UK basic state pension when moving back from Australia

Maybe, I would check with the pension folks if anyone wants to look into it

FWIW & yes you do qualify for the category B pension

State pension top-ups overhaul: you risk paying more for nothing - Telegraph

How can I fill the gap?
"You can normally only fill gaps in your record for the past six years. However, those retiring before next April are being offered the opportunity to plug a further six years within six years of retirement. Buying back each year will cost £14.10 per week or £733.20, which will buy you an extra £200 annual pension under the current regime."
If you survive for four years, then your investment is made good.

Last edited by not2old; Jul 14th 2016 at 8:43 pm.
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Old Jul 14th 2016, 8:45 pm   #6
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Default Re: UK basic state pension when moving back from Australia

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Originally Posted by not2old View Post
FWIW & yes you do qualify for the category B pension

State pension top-ups overhaul: you risk paying more for nothing - Telegraph

How can I fill the gap?
"You can normally only fill gaps in your record for the past six years. However, those retiring before next April are being offered the opportunity to plug a further six years within six years of retirement. Buying back each year will cost £14.10 per week or £733.20, which will buy you an extra £200 annual pension under the current regime."
If you survive for four years, then your investment is made good.
Thanks for the NI info, not2old.

I really don't qualify for any sort of pension, for 2 reasons. One, I'm on a spouse visa and claiming any public funds would invalidate it and two, Scouse and I have only been married for a few years
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Old Jul 14th 2016, 8:50 pm   #7
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Default Re: UK basic state pension when moving back from Australia

Quote:
Originally Posted by not2old View Post
Maybe, I would check with the pension folks if anyone wants to look into it


State pension top-ups overhaul: you risk paying more for nothing - Telegraph

How can I fill the gap?
"You can normally only fill gaps in your record for the past six years. However, those retiring before next April are being offered the opportunity to plug a further six years within six years of retirement. Buying back each year will cost £14.10 per week or £733.20, which will buy you an extra £200 annual pension under the current regime."
If you survive for four years, then your investment is made good.
Just did some calculations - if the buy back costs 733 per year, and he bought the 5 years needed and got an extra 200 per year as a result, he'd need to live for another 18 years to break even. Which is probably about right (would make him 85), but he's just laughed and said he doesn't think he'll bother
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Old Jul 14th 2016, 9:35 pm   #8
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Default Re: UK basic state pension when moving back from Australia

Just FYI not2old - anyone who reaches state pension age after April 2016 will only qualify for a payment based on their own NI contributions, ie no more Category B pensions. There was something about exceptions being made if a woman had been paying the married woman's stamp, but I had a headache after all that reading so didn't go into it
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Old Jul 7th 2017, 1:26 am   #9
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Default Re: UK basic state pension when moving back from Australia

Hi,

Just a quick one. What are the rules for claiming an Australian State pension if residing in the UK? I know you have to be in Australia when claiming and from the human services website it says at least 10 years residency and at least 5 years consecutive.

My circumstances are that I plan to retire in the UK but will have met the above criteria.

Has anyone gone through this? I'd be interested to see what I'd be entitled to.

Thanks
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Old Jul 7th 2017, 6:37 am   #10
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Default Re: UK basic state pension when moving back from Australia

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Hi,

Just a quick one. What are the rules for claiming an Australian State pension if residing in the UK? I know you have to be in Australia when claiming and from the human services website it says at least 10 years residency and at least 5 years consecutive.

My circumstances are that I plan to retire in the UK but will have met the above criteria.

Has anyone gone through this? I'd be interested to see what I'd be entitled to.

Thanks
Hi Jeffs. First up, are you aware of the differences between the UK State pension and the Australian Age pension? The Australian one has strict criteria for income and assets, it's more a welfare payment and not everyone qualifies.
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Old Jul 7th 2017, 7:52 am   #11
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Default Re: UK basic state pension when moving back from Australia

Interesting for my purposes, especially as I'm coming up to 63 ..... Now where do I get the highest state pension seeing as I reckon I would qualify for full pensions in both countries ? Aside from issues with the Assets test here in Aus.

Based on Aus History of being in the workforce since 1980 here and prior to that since 1970 to 1980 in the UK.

Does a base in the UK negate assets tests issues in relation to not recievng the full pension because of exceeding the allowable asset ceiling here in Australia ?

IE: I've got too much super to receive the full pension here..... Plus I can't downsize until I've spent some of that super.

What happens with your Aus pension Spouse.... your in the same boat as my wife.... except she qualifies for right of abode as we were married before 1983..... Whoops didn't read that part about 2 years and not qualifying..... Ok I guess my wife gets the Aus Pension paid in the UK if we went down this route ?
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Old Jul 7th 2017, 8:21 am   #12
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Default Re: UK basic state pension when moving back from Australia

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Originally Posted by ozzieeagle View Post
Interesting for my purposes, especially as I'm coming up to 63 ..... Now where do I get the highest state pension seeing as I reckon I would qualify for full pensions in both countries ? Aside from issues with the Assets test here in Aus.

Based on Aus History of being in the workforce since 1980 here and prior to that since 1970 to 1980 in the UK.

Does a base in the UK negate assets tests issues in relation to not recievng the full pension because of exceeding the allowable asset ceiling here in Australia ?

IE: I've got too much super to receive the full pension here..... Plus I can't downsize until I've spent some of that super.

What happens with your Aus pension Spouse.... your in the same boat as my wife.... except she qualifies for right of abode as we were married before 1983..... Whoops didn't read that part about 2 years and not qualifying..... Ok I guess my wife gets the Aus Pension paid in the UK if we went down this route ?
Hiya Ozzie. The assets and income tests apply to the Oz pension no matter which country you live in, and it doesn't matter where the assets are located or where the income's derived from. So if you have too much of either in Oz or the UK to qualify, you won't qualify for the Oz pension.

Scouse no longer receives his part pension, as we put most of the savings we had into property here, so we're receiving an income from that. He had to inform the Department of Whatever They're Calling Themselves This Week when he left Australia, and provided his UK address. He received requests for updated income and assets details regularly, to determine if he was still eligible for any payment.

My superannuation is exempt from Scouse's assets and income tests, it's disregarded until my retirement age OR until I start drawing an income from it.

If you're receiving any aged pension while you're still in Oz, you can continue to receive it while you're in the UK. As above, you'll need to satisfy the Dept. from time to time that you're still eligible.

Re your wife, even if she's eligible on the assets and income tests, she can't claim an Oz aged pension from outside the country. So if she leaves before she reaches aged pension age (probably 67 in her case), then she's snookered. The only way to apply in those circumstances is to return to live in Oz, providing proof that she's wound up her life in the UK and intends to settle permanently again in Australia. If granted the aged pension, she would then have to live in Australia for at least two years - if she left before that she'd lose it (and may incur a debt, not sure on that one).

The thing about the UK basic state pension is there's no assets or income tests. For additional pension/pension credit, there are asset and income tests.

Also (sorry, this is a bit all over the place, just about to head out), if you qualify in regards to the age criteria to apply for the pension before you leave Oz, go for it. Even if you're only eligible to receive $1 per month, the pensioner benefit card is gold, particularly with medications but also for big discounts on Council and water rates, drivers licence and other stuff.

Let me know if you have any other questions Ozzie, I'm not an expert but have had a bit to do with assisting people with this.
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