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Topping up UK National Insurance Payments

Topping up UK National Insurance Payments

Old Apr 23rd 2023, 7:27 pm
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Default Topping up UK National Insurance Payments

This has been extended to July 31st 2023 and you can top up either with Class 2 or Class 3 payments. I can top up about 12 or 13 years and by making further contributions annually could get to almost full UK pension despite not having lived there since 1999.

So if I retire in Canada is it allowed to claim full (or almost full) state pensions from 2 countries? This would mean I would recieve much more than a full state Canadian pension. This is hugely important for me to know as to whether to make up these National Insurance Payments or not. Have done searching and made calls without getting a proper answer. Grateful for anybody who can help with this.

Thanks.

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Old Apr 23rd 2023, 8:43 pm
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Default Re: Topping up UK National Insurance Payments

Originally Posted by adm62
This has been extended to July 31st 2023 and you can top up either with Class 2 or Class 3 payments. I can top up about 12 or 13 years and by making further contributions annually could get to almost full UK pension despite not having lived there since 1999.

So if I retire in Canada is it allowed to claim full (or almost full) state pensions from 2 countries? This would mean I would recieve much more than a full state Canadian pension. This is hugely important for me to know as to whether to make up these National Insurance Payments or not. Have done searching and made calls without getting a proper answer. Grateful for anybody who can help with this.

Thanks.
It’s my understanding that you can claim both - the downside is that if you live in Canada, your UK state pension will be frozen once you start taking it, whereas residing in many other countries means you get the annual increases.
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Old Apr 23rd 2023, 9:21 pm
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Default Re: Topping up UK National Insurance Payments

Originally Posted by Twitcher1958
It’s my understanding that you can claim both - the downside is that if you live in Canada, your UK state pension will be frozen once you start taking it, whereas residing in many other countries means you get the annual increases.
Thanks, that sounds like reasonable news. Yes I hope it is changed so that it can be increased annually. I also actually have a 3rd country to be considered but let's not overcomplicate things here!
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Old Apr 24th 2023, 1:30 am
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Default Re: Topping up UK National Insurance Payments

Originally Posted by Twitcher1958
It’s my understanding that you can claim both - the downside is that if you live in Canada, your UK state pension will be frozen once you start taking it...
Just a small point on this which I just discovered.

Apparently it's frozen at the rate you qualify rather than when you apply.

I reached my qualifying age in the week before the 10% increase. I had it in mind to claim the week after, lose one week but then benefit from the frozen rate being 10% higher.

The Pension department told me this.
If you reside within a country that is not within the European Economic Community/European Union (EEC/EU) or within a country that has a reciprocal agreement with the UK, your UK state pension will be frozen at the date you reach state pension age.

If you reached state pension age before the annual increase, and live within one of the frozen rate countries, then your state pension will not increase based on the date of the claim, but rather than when you reached state pension age.
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Old Apr 24th 2023, 1:33 am
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Default Re: Topping up UK National Insurance Payments

Thanks for that clarification- I did mean to check, then it slipped my mind.
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Old Apr 24th 2023, 7:17 pm
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Default Re: Topping up UK National Insurance Payments

Thanks both.

So I will go ahead and top up, still not certain whether it should be class 2 or 3 but hopefully the former, I have written to UK tax authorities. In the end I hope to get a little more than 3/4 UK pension plus at least half of CPP

For anyone who needs info about what to do this year, this article gave me the inclination to look into it and go on to the UK government site to determine my status
​​https://www.theguardian.com/money/20...droidApp_Other
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Old Apr 24th 2023, 7:44 pm
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Default Re: Topping up UK National Insurance Payments

Originally Posted by adm62
Thanks both.

So I will go ahead and top up, still not certain whether it should be class 2 or 3 but hopefully the former, I have written to UK tax authorities. In the end I hope to get a little more than 3/4 UK pension plus at least half of CPP. ....
Are you aware that you can contribute, generally, for upto six years in arrears, for any years for which you have not previously contributed. In addition, until July 2023 you can contribute, in many cases, for years as far back as 2006-07, so 17 years of arrears, but you have no time to lose if you want to take advantage of that.

You need 35 years of actual or deemed contributions (if you stayed at school after the age of 16 you would have 2, or possibly 3 years of deemed contributions; you do not get deemed years while at university) for a full pension. You might need more than 35 years, though not necessarily, if you were "contracted out" (had exempted yourself from SERPs) at any time while working in the UK.

.... For anyone who needs info about what to do this year, this article gave me the inclination to look into it and go on to the UK government site to determine my status. .....​
To qualify for Class 2 contribution rate you need to complete a short application form, which I hear can be done online these days. Apart from basic personal information (Name, address, NI number) the form asks for the name and address of your last employer in the UK and the first employer in your new home country.

The criteria is primarily whether you were working in the UK "immediately" before you left, and in your new home country "immediately" after you arrived, but what "immediately" means is not clearly stated, as one US BE member didn't start working until about a year after arriving. A working theory (no pun intended) we have is that, at least on the UK end, is that there were NI contributions to your account within the tax year prior to you leaving the UK. So the advice, in short, is always apply to make Class 2 contributions, there is no downside to doing so.

Anyone interested in engaging on a very active, long running thread on this subject should take a look at the thread in the US forum, though bear in mind that the US is a country where pensioners do benefit from annual inflation and deferral increases.

Last edited by Pulaski; Apr 24th 2023 at 8:03 pm.
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Old Apr 24th 2023, 8:21 pm
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Default Re: Topping up UK National Insurance Payments

Originally Posted by Pulaski
Are you aware that you can contribute, generally, for upto six years in arrears, for any years for which you have not previously contributed. In addition, until July 2023 you can contribute, in many cases, for years as far back as 2006-07, so 17 years of arrears, but you have no time to lose if you want to take advantage of that.

You need 35 years of actual or deemed contributions (if you stayed at school after the age of 16 you would have 2, or possibly 3 years of deemed contributions; you do not get deemed years while at university) for a full pension. You might need more than 35 years, though not necessarily, if you were "contracted out" (had exempted yourself from SERPs) at any time while working in the UK.


To qualify for Class 2 contribution rate you need to complete a short application form, which I hear can be done online these days. Apart from basic personal information (Name, address, NI number) the form asks for the name and address of your last employer in the UK and the first employer in your new home country.

The criteria is primarily whether you were working in the UK "immediately" before you left, and in your new home country "immediately" after you arrived, but what "immediately" means is not clearly stated, as one US BE member didn't start working until about a year after arriving. A working theory (no pun intended) we have is that, at least on the UK end, is that there were NI contributions to your account within the tax year prior to you leaving the UK. So the advice, in short, is always apply to make Class 2 contributions, there is no downside to doing so.

Anyone interested in engaging on a very active, long running thread on this subject should take a look at the thread in the US forum, though bear in mind that the US is a country where pensioners do benefit from annual inflation and deferral increases.

​​​​​Yes, totally aware I can make a lot of contributions this year which is why I posted here. You need 35 years for full pension, I currently have 11 and can make up another 11 years this year I believe plus 5 next year, then 1 per year until retirement age (2028 for me)

Will check that thread in detail, but why does it say "Class 2 abolished"? That's not the case. If the requirement is to work in the current tax year before leaving UK then I should qualify. I worked April and May in UK then started working overseas November same year.

Have sent a completed form to Newcastle, but not sure I will hear from them before July.

Last edited by adm62; Apr 24th 2023 at 8:25 pm.
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Old Apr 24th 2023, 8:31 pm
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Default Re: Topping up UK National Insurance Payments

Originally Posted by adm62
​​​​​Yes, totally aware I can make a lot of contributions this year which is why I posted here. You need 35 years for full pension, I currently have 11 and can make up another 11 years this year I believe plus 5 next year, then 1 per year until retirement age (2028 for me). ....
I am not sure why you're splitting "this year" and "next year". .... Until July 2023 you can contribute for 17 years of arrears, from 2006-07 to 2022-23, after July you can contribute for years 2017-18 to 2022-23, and next (tax) year, so April onwards, you can contribute for years 2018-19 to 2023-24, plus "current year" in all scenarios.

So if you already have 11 years, you can make another 17 years of contributions in arrears , now. Then contributions for this year 2023-24, and the next five years, make another 6 years to add to the 11 and 17, which if my maths is correct, makes 34 years total, for 34/35ths of a full state pension.
.... Will check that thread in detail, but why does it say "Class 2 abolished"? That's not the case. ....
It's a very old thread, and I think there was an announcement, later retracted, back around 2016 that Class 2 was being abolished.
.... Have sent a completed form to Newcastle, but not sure I will hear from them before July.
You need to phone ASAP, and may need, if possible to send a payment and get it "in the system" in case you don't hear until it's too late. The worst that can happen is that they send it back.

Last edited by Pulaski; Apr 24th 2023 at 8:41 pm.
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Old Apr 24th 2023, 8:34 pm
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Default Re: Topping up UK National Insurance Payments

Originally Posted by Pulaski
I am not sure why you're splitting "this year" and "next year". .... Until July 2023 you can contribute for 17 years of arrears, from 2006-07 to 2022-23, after July you can contribute for years 2017-18 to 2022-23, and next (tax) year, so April onwards, you can contribute for years 2018-19 to 2023-24, plus "current year" in all scenarios.

It's a very old thread, and I think there was an announcement, later retracted, back around 2016 that Class 2 was being abolished.
Ok, I see
As for "this year and next year", was just to reduce my financial burden for this year. If it is Class 2 then can probably make up all missing payments this year. If I have to pay about 12 grand that is more troublesome
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Old Apr 24th 2023, 8:45 pm
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Default Re: Topping up UK National Insurance Payments

Originally Posted by adm62
Ok, I see
As for "this year and next year", was just to reduce my financial burden for this year. If it is Class 2 then can probably make up all missing payments this year. If I have to pay about 12 grand that is more troublesome
I think that splitting your payments into two calendar years you may lose out on at least one year, but, and I may be wrong here, I think I read somewhere that contributions in arrears are always applied to the most recent years first, so you might risk losing all years 2006-7 to 2011-12.

BTW I added to my post above.
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Old Apr 24th 2023, 8:49 pm
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Default Re: Topping up UK National Insurance Payments

Originally Posted by Pulaski
I think that splitting your payments into two calendar years you may lose out on at least one year, but, and I may be wrong here, I think I read somewhere that contributions in arrears are always applied to the most recent years first, so you might risk losing all years 2006-7 to 2011-12.

BTW I added to my post above.

Ok. Will check that

I did phone and they told me to fill in the form. If I don't hear anything in next 2 weeks or so will phone again, and yes will make payments anyway. Was wondering how it worked regarding how payment is allocated to particular missing years. So I suppose I should make one big payment rather than individual ones for each year .

Thanks for all this info, very valuable
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Old Apr 24th 2023, 8:52 pm
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Default Re: Topping up UK National Insurance Payments

Originally Posted by adm62
.... Thanks for all this info, very valuable
You're welcome.
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Old Apr 26th 2023, 3:34 pm
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Default Re: Topping up UK National Insurance Payments

Originally Posted by Twitcher1958
It’s my understanding that you can claim both - the downside is that if you live in Canada, your UK state pension will be frozen once you start taking it, whereas residing in many other countries means you get the annual increases.
Hi, you absolutely can claim state pensions from the UK and Canada (and a third etc...). Regarding the Frozen Pensions issue please review the www.britishpensions.com website and sign up for just $25 a year and add your voice to the efforts to get annual uprating included as an issue in the current Canada/UK trade talks. On 19th April there was a demo on Parliament Hill by a group of us frozen seniors and an event in parliament buildings with around 60 MPs attending. The event did not get as much media coverage due to the public servants strike starting that day!
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Old Apr 26th 2023, 3:39 pm
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Default Re: Topping up UK National Insurance Payments

FYI, here's a picture of some of the protestors outside parliament on 19th Apr.

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