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voluntary NI contributions

voluntary NI contributions

Old Sep 11th 2023, 5:31 am
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Default voluntary NI contributions

After living in the US the last 25yrs+, I'll likely be moving back to the UK in the next 2yrs, at which point I'll be 48yrs old.

I moved to the US aged 21, right out of university. I had only worked in the UK, aggregate, a few months - basically working minimum wage jobs a couple of xmas's and summers when I was home from university. I also worked a couple of months while waiting for my visa to move to the US. All together, probably around 6 months total.

Do I have any options for qualifying for a UK pension? I've read about class 2 vs class 3 - how can i find out what boat I'm in? Are voluntary contributions an option for me? Is it worth it?? I am fully qualified for US social security and have a good 401k.

thanks for any info!
-m
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Old Sep 11th 2023, 8:08 am
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Default Re: voluntary NI contributions

I would contact them to see if you can start paying and even make up some missing years. You may not have 3 years worth of contributions but you did live for 3 years in a row before leaving the UK.

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

Living and working abroad Class 2 - but only if you worked in the UK immediately before leaving, and you’ve previously lived in the UK for at least 3 years in a row or paid at least 3 years of contributions
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Old Sep 11th 2023, 5:11 pm
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Default Re: voluntary NI contributions

thanks! Yes, lived in the UK for most of my childhood. Would seem to me to be exceptionally generous if I did qualify for Class 2...but I was employed for the 2-3 months right up until I left the country, so perhaps it will work out for me.
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Old Sep 11th 2023, 6:43 pm
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Default Re: voluntary NI contributions

Originally Posted by mmhendrie
thanks! Yes, lived in the UK for most of my childhood. Would seem to me to be exceptionally generous if I did qualify for Class 2...but I was employed for the 2-3 months right up until I left the country, so perhaps it will work out for me.
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It is definitely worth looking into, even if Class 3 (which I suspect easier to qualify for). The return on your investment by year can be 30% for each year paid but you need a minimum 10 years.
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Old Sep 11th 2023, 6:50 pm
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Default Re: voluntary NI contributions

Originally Posted by morpeth
It is definitely worth looking into, even if Class 3 (which I suspect easier to qualify for). The return on your investment by year can be 30% for each year paid but you need a minimum 10 years.
I agree, class 3 is also excellent value. My wife and I spent 29 years in the USA before returning to the UK, paying for 6 missing years and continuing with monthly payments for the following 6 years all at Class 3 until we started drawing our OAP. Well worth it.

Last edited by durham_lad; Sep 11th 2023 at 6:53 pm.
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Old Sep 11th 2023, 9:36 pm
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Default Re: voluntary NI contributions

thanks! Great information!!! Does anyone know what an incoming US citizen would be able to do? My wife, a USC, would be coming on a spousal visa. I assume she'd get a NI number as soon as she's eligible to work. What class would she be? Can she make voluntary make-up contributions that pre-date her UK residency visa?

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Old Sep 12th 2023, 4:33 am
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Default Re: voluntary NI contributions

Originally Posted by mmhendrie
thanks! Great information!!! Does anyone know what an incoming US citizen would be able to do? My wife, a USC, would be coming on a spousal visa. I assume she'd get a NI number as soon as she's eligible to work. What class would she be? Can she make voluntary make-up contributions that pre-date her UK residency visa?

-m
Voluntary National Insurance: Eligibility - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)



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Old Sep 12th 2023, 7:21 am
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Default Re: voluntary NI contributions

Originally Posted by mmhendrie
thanks! Great information!!! Does anyone know what an incoming US citizen would be able to do? My wife, a USC, would be coming on a spousal visa. I assume she'd get a NI number as soon as she's eligible to work. What class would she be? Can she make voluntary make-up contributions that pre-date her UK residency visa?

-m

My daughter and her partner have both been through this process this year. It is easy to apply for a NINO online and you don’t need to have one to start work. When our son arrived in 2017 it took a couple of months including an on-site interview and he was actually working for several weeks before his NINO came through. These days as part of the application you have to simply take a photo of yourself with your proof of residence (BRP or UK passport) and upload it.

https://www.gov.uk/apply-national-in...r/how-to-apply
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