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Topping up your National Insurance Contributions

Topping up your National Insurance Contributions

Old Feb 24th 2020, 10:48 pm
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Default Topping up your National Insurance Contributions

I've been away from England for yonks now and I realised that I have to make up 7 years of National Insurance contributions to qualify for a full pension. If you're in the same boat, google and download NI38, fill it in and post it off. I'm hoping to qualify for Class 2 payments which are about $150 for each year missed. If I have to pay Class 3 payments, it's about $750 per year but still worth it.

Interestingly, my wife is Australian and she worked in the UK for 6 months in the nineties so has a National Insurance number too. She filled in the NI38 too and we're hoping that she qualifies for Class 2 payments because we're never going to see an Australian pension!

The NI38 has to be mailed in and they're taking 28 weeks to reply due to Brexit!

Well worth a punt.
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Old Feb 25th 2020, 11:10 pm
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Default Re: Topping up your National Insurance Contributions

Thanks for that. I have put a lot of consideration into my private pension pot, but hadn't even considered the state pension. I've been away for 7 1/2 years now so I guess I have a little catching up to do too.

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Old Feb 25th 2020, 11:26 pm
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Default Re: Topping up your National Insurance Contributions

Originally Posted by SoCalDon View Post
I've been away from England for yonks now and I realised that I have to make up 7 years of National Insurance contributions to qualify for a full pension. If you're in the same boat, google and download NI38, fill it in and post it off. I'm hoping to qualify for Class 2 payments which are about $150 for each year missed. If I have to pay Class 3 payments, it's about $750 per year but still worth it.

Interestingly, my wife is Australian and she worked in the UK for 6 months in the nineties so has a National Insurance number too. She filled in the NI38 too and we're hoping that she qualifies for Class 2 payments because we're never going to see an Australian pension!

The NI38 has to be mailed in and they're taking 28 weeks to reply due to Brexit!

Well worth a punt.
I don't know how it applies for residents of Australia, but for anyone in NZ your UK state pension is aggregated with whatever NZ pays (I have no idea how that works), so if Australia is anything like NZ, you may not get as much back as those of us living elsewhere in the world .... unless you leave Australia before you retire. However if you are allowed to claim a UK state pension while living in Australia, and without the Australian government netting it off against your Australian pension payments, then it is very worthwhile to make additional voluntary contributions towards your UK state pension - with the note that you have to be alive to claim a pension, it's not like a private pension where their is an underlying account that would be part of your estate if you die before you retire.

So far as your wife goes, it is unlikely that she will be able to make any additional contributions towards a UK state pension as you have to have contributed for a minimum of three years while living in the UK before you are eligible to make further voluntary contributions. ... My wife fell short of that requirement herself, .... And you don't get any UK state pension entitlement unless you have made at least ten years of contributions, although agreements with certain countries allow you to aggregate contribution years to get you an entitlement to a pension if you would not otherwise qualify.

Last edited by Pulaski; Feb 25th 2020 at 11:56 pm.
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Old Feb 25th 2020, 11:48 pm
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Default Re: Topping up your National Insurance Contributions

Worth getting a pension forecast before making additional payments - https://www.gov.uk/check-state-pension
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Old Feb 26th 2020, 10:37 pm
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Default Re: Topping up your National Insurance Contributions

Originally Posted by old.sparkles View Post
Worth getting a pension forecast before making additional payments - https://www.gov.uk/check-state-pension
Another useful link. Thank you I've just followed the link and given it a try.

Based on current contributions I'm forecast to get £119.90/week. To get the full forecast of £168.60/week I'll need to make further contributions. Definitely worth looking in to further.

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Old Feb 27th 2020, 10:31 pm
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Default Re: Topping up your National Insurance Contributions

Originally Posted by Pulaski View Post
So far as your wife goes, it is unlikely that she will be able to make any additional contributions towards a UK state pension as you have to have contributed for a minimum of three years while living in the UK before you are eligible to make further voluntary contributions.
Bizarrely, although Sal only worked for six months, when we checked her contributions it shows four qualifying years therefore she would 'only' have to make up 26 years if she is allowed to. She's only in her early fifties and has good genes so this would be well worth doing.

'If' she's allowed, of course! I will report back in a few months.
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Old Feb 27th 2020, 10:40 pm
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Default Re: Topping up your National Insurance Contributions

Originally Posted by SoCalDon View Post
Bizarrely, although Sal only worked for six months, when we checked her contributions it shows four qualifying years ....
Hmmm, that's very strange - do you know what made up the difference? I guess that the six months work spanned two tax years, .... and did she qualify for some "deemed" years?
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Old Feb 27th 2020, 10:49 pm
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Default Re: Topping up your National Insurance Contributions

Originally Posted by Pulaski View Post
Hmmm, that's very strange - do you know what made up the difference? I guess that the six months work spanned two tax years, .... and did she qualify for some "deemed" years?
I actually have the letter here from 2015

"So far you have 4 qualifying years, worth $15.46 a week"

I can't get an online account to check her records because it's impossible to identify her after all these years but when we rang the pension people the other week they suggested the NI38 route. They were soooooooooo friendly and helpful. Well worth a call if you have any questions.

There's no way either of us are going to qualify for an Australian pension as we will have too much income in pensions and super and stuff so a full English pension would be a real bonus. Fingers crossed, anyway!
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Old Mar 1st 2020, 7:45 am
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Default Re: Topping up your National Insurance Contributions

As far as I know, you can only top up on missing contributions over the last five years. But once its sorted, its easy enough to set up a direct debit to get the contributions paid automatically every 6 months.
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Old Mar 3rd 2020, 2:35 pm
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Default Re: Topping up your National Insurance Contributions

Originally Posted by paulry View Post
As far as I know, you can only top up on missing contributions over the last five years. But once its sorted, its easy enough to set up a direct debit to get the contributions paid automatically every 6 months.
Under some circumstances you can go back as many as 12 years, maybe even 15 or more. Someone posted on BE recently that (IIRC) was filling in missed years as far back as the 1990's, which was a surprise to me, but no rationale was posted as to how/why they were able to catch up with years so long ago.
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Old Mar 4th 2020, 9:50 pm
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Default Re: Topping up your National Insurance Contributions

Originally Posted by Pulaski View Post
Under some circumstances you can go back as many as 12 years, maybe even 15 or more. Someone posted on BE recently that (IIRC) was filling in missed years as far back as the 1990's, which was a surprise to me, but no rationale was posted as to how/why they were able to catch up with years so long ago.
Just logged in the my NI account and I am allowed to pay for years 2006/07 onwards. It says if I pay before 5/4/2023 it will cost me 780 GBP. It says elsewhere that usually you can only make up the shortfall on the last six years. All pretty strange.
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Old Mar 6th 2020, 4:05 pm
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Default Re: Topping up your National Insurance Contributions

Originally Posted by Pulaski View Post
Under some circumstances you can go back as many as 12 years, maybe even 15 or more. Someone posted on BE recently that (IIRC) was filling in missed years as far back as the 1990's, which was a surprise to me, but no rationale was posted as to how/why they were able to catch up with years so long ago.
That's interesting. My sister could do with topping up more, I'll ask her to look into it. Thanks for that.
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Old Mar 6th 2020, 4:08 pm
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Default Re: Topping up your National Insurance Contributions

Originally Posted by SoCalDon View Post
Bizarrely, although Sal only worked for six months, when we checked her contributions it shows four qualifying years therefore she would 'only' have to make up 26 years if she is allowed to. She's only in her early fifties and has good genes so this would be well worth doing.

'If' she's allowed, of course! I will report back in a few months.
I just checked out my NI contribution record and it shows full contributions for two years in the early 80s when I wasn't even there.
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Old Mar 6th 2020, 4:13 pm
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Default Re: Topping up your National Insurance Contributions

Just a thought: According to my record I only need to contribute for three more years to be eligible for full state pension. Does this mean my direct debit arrangement will automatically cease in three years time or will I have to stop it?
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Old Apr 30th 2020, 10:09 am
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Default Re: Topping up your National Insurance Contributions

Just heard back from HMRC and I found that I am eligible for class two payments which is very exciting. The upshot of this is instead of paying 780GBP for each of the seven years unpaid NI Contributions, I only have to pay 156GBP per year.

1092 GBP instead of the expected 5460 is a real bonus which made filling in the NI38 well worthwhile.

Haven’t heard the result of my wife’s claim yet - just waiting for the letter to arrive. Apparently they have a few more questions. Not hopeful but fingers crossed!
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