UK pension eligibility

Old Sep 12th 2023, 9:53 am
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Default UK pension eligibility

I received the following from international pension centre re moving back to uk and getting pension. Has anyone actually done this ? I am nervous about not topping up my NI as I am 62 and have a few years 4.5 until I get uk pension ..what if rules change?

What happens if you have lived in New Zealand



There is a Reciprocal Agreement on social security between the UK and New Zealand.



The agreement states that when a person was getting New Zealand Superannuation (awarded solely under New Zealand law), and was over UK pension age at the time, they will be treated as if they meet the contribution conditions for the full UK State Pension when they are in, or resident in, the UK.



If you are not getting New Zealand Superannuation, the Agreement allows for each week of confirmed residence in New Zealand to be treated as a week of UK National Insurance. This may increase or give title to the UK State Pension from UK State Pension age when they are in, or resident in, the UK. The agreement is based on your residence in New Zealand and employment is not taken into account so you shouldn’t worry about your New Zealand employment record.



Credits under the agreements cannot be credited to your UK National Insurance account.



As you are not within 4 months of UK State Pension age I cannot tell you how this will affect your UK State Pension.



Please contact us again once you have claimed your UK State Pension



Any enquiries about New Zealand benefits should be made to the New Zealand Authorities
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Old Sep 12th 2023, 7:04 pm
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Default Re: UK pension eligibility

How many years of NI contributions do you have?
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Old Sep 12th 2023, 7:44 pm
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Default Re: UK pension eligibility

I have 16 years at the moment
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Old Sep 12th 2023, 9:56 pm
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Default Re: UK pension eligibility

Originally Posted by Chchexpat
I have 16 years at the moment
So you are short 19 years of a full UK pension. It reads to me that if you went back to live in the UK that credits from time in NZ could be used to top up your UK pension but you really need to have that clarified.
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Old Sep 13th 2023, 7:04 am
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Default Re: UK pension eligibility

I have been in NZ for 28 years so should have enough according to their email unless they change the rules in the next 5 years
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Old Sep 13th 2023, 5:52 pm
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Default Re: UK pension eligibility

This is incredibly interesting and important to me. That if we finally somehow manage to make an NZ to UK return , we will not be on incredibly reduced funds.( state pension)


Originally Posted by Chchexpat

The agreement states that when a person was getting New Zealand Superannuation (awarded solely under New Zealand law), and was over UK pension age at the time, they will be treated as if they meet the contribution conditions for the full UK State Pension when they are in, or resident in, the UK.
This reads to me that I would be given a full UK state pension , not a reduced one. I am 69 . Receive the NZ state pension and at the moment give a reduced UK state pension to NZ of course. It is reduced because of the rule changes over the years and that at one point I contracted out so I fell short of a few UK years for 'credits' , despite having worked full time in the UK for more than 30 years.


If you are not getting New Zealand Superannuation, the Agreement allows for each week of confirmed residence in New Zealand to be treated as a week of UK National Insurance. This may increase or give title to the UK State Pension from UK State Pension age when they are in, or resident in, the UK. The agreement is based on your residence in New Zealand and employment is not taken into account so you shouldn’t worry about your New Zealand employment record.
My husband is nearly 64. He would have around 30yrs of UK full time work under that belt. We also have nearly 20 years of NZ residency with him having worked full time up until a year or so ago. If this would mean he could receive a full UK state pension when he turns 66yrs then it could once again become a goer.

I realise that we could pay top up NI conts. for what might be his missing years but , to be frank, we are not that cashed up all in all to just pay loads of money if his NZ time counts.

Credits under the agreements cannot be credited to your UK National Insurance account.
...... and this confuses me. I thought it was the UK NI account credits that were counted towards the UK state pension. Either the years in NZ count or they don't ?

We couldn't return on an off-chance with this.




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Old Sep 13th 2023, 7:24 pm
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Default Re: UK pension eligibility

Originally Posted by arslanapk99
Can overseas migrants do also get them ?
If you have paid at least 10 years worth of NI contributions into the UK pension scheme then you are entitled to a State pension (OAP) no matter where you live.
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Old Sep 17th 2023, 4:42 am
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Default Re: UK pension eligibility

Originally Posted by BEVS
..... It is reduced because of the rule changes over the years and that at one point I contracted out so I fell short of a few UK years for 'credits' .....
Have you had that actually confirmed?

I was contracted out for 11-12 years, and to my surprise, when I received my pension forecast, I found that I had not had my contributions/ projected pension reduced at all. For the first couple of years I had been fairly low paid, but my pay increased steadily after that and eventually, towards the end of the 11-12 years, I had considered myself fairly well paid (significantly more than my mother at that time, who was an experienced teacher approaching retirement), and yet being contracted out apparently didn't impact my pension forecast.
... ...... and this confuses me. I thought it was the UK NI account credits that were counted towards the UK state pension. Either the years in NZ count or they don't ? .....
This has always confused me too, as different things get reported on BE (at least some appear to be posts based on an interpretation of the published rules rather than actual experience), and my best understanding of what appears to be happening, as reported on BE (and I would be happy to learn more and/ or be proved wrong here), is that pension credits in some overseas countries, can be used to help you qualify for a state pension where one would not otherwise be payable, but those credits cannot be used to increase the amount of a pension for which you (already) qualify.

What I do know, is that under at least some circumstances it is possible to qualify for, and receive, state penions in the UK and another country. So if it is possible to qualify for a NZ state pension (or whatever it is called) and simultaneously a UK state pension paid separately without reducing your NZ pension, then the possibility of paying additional contributions to a UK state pension should be explored as a possible way to increase your income in retirement.

Last edited by Pulaski; Sep 17th 2023 at 4:54 am.
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Old Sep 18th 2023, 2:26 pm
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Default Re: UK pension eligibility

I have done this succesfully using my time in Australia to make up years of not paying National Insurance. I am now retired in UK and receiving almost full pension.

The agreement with Australia was terminated around 2000 so only years before this counted. I presume the agreemant with NZ still stands.

This cannot be claimed until you retire.


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Old Sep 18th 2023, 2:46 pm
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Default Re: UK pension eligibility

I am going to go back to international pensions office to clarify as I don’t want to miss a window to top up my NI contributions if needed. As it’s 4.5 years away to 67 it concerns me that rule may change. Good to know that someone had managed to use time in Aus.
it sure is a minefield!
I have just resigned and heading back to uk (permanently at this stage) in December to spend first Xmas with family in 26 years.
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Old Sep 18th 2023, 9:16 pm
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Default Re: UK pension eligibility

Originally Posted by Pulaski

What I do know, is that under at least some circumstances it is possible to qualify for, and receive, state penions in the UK and another country. So if it is possible to qualify for a NZ state pension (or whatever it is called) and simultaneously a UK state pension paid separately without reducing your NZ pension, then the possibility of paying additional contributions to a UK state pension should be explored as a possible way to increase your income in retirement.
Just on this as we are away from home atm
That is a no.
NZ state pension is not work based. It stops altogether if outside of NZ for 6 months +.
It is either/or.


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Old Sep 26th 2023, 10:57 am
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Default Re: UK pension eligibility

I have just had approval to top up my NI under class 2 so only £160 a year and have until 1/4/25 to top up. Not entirely sure if I need to do this but it’s a good option/ insurance policy at that price and would protect me in the event of a rule change NZ/UK agreement as I have 4.5 years to uk pension age.
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Old Sep 26th 2023, 1:52 pm
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Default Re: UK pension eligibility

Originally Posted by Chchexpat
I have just had approval to top up my NI under class 2 so only £160 a year and have until 1/4/25 to top up. Not entirely sure if I need to do this but it’s a good option/ insurance policy at that price and would protect me in the event of a rule change NZ/UK agreement as I have 4.5 years to uk pension age.
Given that you can claim a UK state pension from anywhere in the world, and every £160 you pay in will be repaid to you in the first seven months of your retirement in increased pension payments, personally, I think you'd have to be a fool not to buy in as many years as you can, up to the maximum of 35 years total actual plus deemed years of contributions.

So, even if you pay in 10 or 15 additional years (the maximum is currently 17 years, back to 2006-07) for £1,600 - £2,400, your pension in those first seven months will be £1,600 - £2,400 higher. Everything after those first seven months will be "free money".

Last edited by Pulaski; Sep 26th 2023 at 1:57 pm.
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Old Apr 2nd 2024, 4:04 pm
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Default Re: UK pension eligibility

Unashamed bump -

Originally Posted by Chchexpat
What happens if you have lived in New Zealand

There is a Reciprocal Agreement on social security between the UK and New Zealand.

The agreement states that when a person was getting New Zealand Superannuation (awarded solely under New Zealand law), and was over UK pension age at the time, they will be treated as if they meet the contribution conditions for the full UK State Pension when they are in, or resident in, the UK.
Smell the burning brain cell . Done my own head in.

Does the above read that two old codgers both receiving NZ superannuation as they are both over 65 could possibly, just possibly, both exchange for full UK state pensions ( under the reciprocal agreement ) if they were to return to the UK and both be over their assigned UK state pension age ?

Monster ? as there could be a lot riding on this.
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