Go Back  British Expats > Living & Moving Abroad > USA > The Trailer Park
Reload this Page >

National Insurance paid over 30 years ago ... any use?

National Insurance paid over 30 years ago ... any use?

Old Nov 28th 2019, 5:10 pm
  #1  
Lost in BE Cyberspace
Thread Starter
 
Steerpike's Avatar
 
Joined: Nov 2007
Location: Bay Area, CA / Scottsdale, AZ
Posts: 7,045
Steerpike has a reputation beyond reputeSteerpike has a reputation beyond reputeSteerpike has a reputation beyond reputeSteerpike has a reputation beyond reputeSteerpike has a reputation beyond reputeSteerpike has a reputation beyond reputeSteerpike has a reputation beyond reputeSteerpike has a reputation beyond reputeSteerpike has a reputation beyond reputeSteerpike has a reputation beyond reputeSteerpike has a reputation beyond repute
Default National Insurance paid over 30 years ago ... any use?

I worked in the UK for just a few years in the early 80s before moving to the US. I never bothered keeping up with my National Insurance as I had no intention of returning, and thoughts of 'pension' were not on the horizon. I also lost track of my NI number.

Today I found my old NI number, and was able to sign up on the website to see my details. Basically, it says:

You have:
  • 8 years of full contributions
  • 5 years to contribute before 5 April 2024
  • 37 years when you did not contribute enough
I'm surprised by the '8 years' as it includes time when I was a full-time student, but regardless - does this mean I have any entitlement to anything?

ETA - Looks like I need a minimum of 10 full years to be entitled to a state pension. Is there any facility for me to voluntarily make up the required 2 years, given that I have about 4 years to go before retirement age?

This page - https://www.pensionsadvisoryservice....-contributions suggests I may be able to pay topups. Is it easy to figure out if it's worth it?

Last edited by Steerpike; Nov 28th 2019 at 5:27 pm.
Steerpike is offline  
Old Nov 28th 2019, 5:28 pm
  #2  
Lost in BE Cyberspace
 
Joined: May 2010
Location: San Diego, California
Posts: 6,825
SanDiegogirl has a reputation beyond reputeSanDiegogirl has a reputation beyond reputeSanDiegogirl has a reputation beyond reputeSanDiegogirl has a reputation beyond reputeSanDiegogirl has a reputation beyond reputeSanDiegogirl has a reputation beyond reputeSanDiegogirl has a reputation beyond reputeSanDiegogirl has a reputation beyond reputeSanDiegogirl has a reputation beyond reputeSanDiegogirl has a reputation beyond reputeSanDiegogirl has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: National Insurance paid over 30 years ago ... any use?

As it says '' 5 years to contribute before April 2024"

You can voluntarily make contributions to this date:
SanDiegogirl is offline  
Old Nov 28th 2019, 5:52 pm
  #3  
Lost in BE Cyberspace
 
Joined: Nov 2012
Location: bute
Posts: 8,186
scot47 has a reputation beyond reputescot47 has a reputation beyond reputescot47 has a reputation beyond reputescot47 has a reputation beyond reputescot47 has a reputation beyond reputescot47 has a reputation beyond reputescot47 has a reputation beyond reputescot47 has a reputation beyond reputescot47 has a reputation beyond reputescot47 has a reputation beyond reputescot47 has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: National Insurance paid over 30 years ago ... any use?

Make contributions for the missing years up to the maximum allowed. Better than any investment on the financial markets.
scot47 is offline  
Old Nov 28th 2019, 7:03 pm
  #4  
Lost in BE Cyberspace
Thread Starter
 
Steerpike's Avatar
 
Joined: Nov 2007
Location: Bay Area, CA / Scottsdale, AZ
Posts: 7,045
Steerpike has a reputation beyond reputeSteerpike has a reputation beyond reputeSteerpike has a reputation beyond reputeSteerpike has a reputation beyond reputeSteerpike has a reputation beyond reputeSteerpike has a reputation beyond reputeSteerpike has a reputation beyond reputeSteerpike has a reputation beyond reputeSteerpike has a reputation beyond reputeSteerpike has a reputation beyond reputeSteerpike has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: National Insurance paid over 30 years ago ... any use?

Originally Posted by scot47 View Post
Make contributions for the missing years up to the maximum allowed. Better than any investment on the financial markets.
Some VERY SIMPLE calculations I've made.
Current 'full pension' is 164.35 GBP. => (x 52) = 8,546 GBP / yr.

If I can 'top up' say, 2 years, then I'll have 10 years contributions. Would that then entitle me to 10/35 * 8,546 = 2,442 GBP / year? I read that the payment will be 'pro-rated' but it doesn't explicitly state that it's a simple calculation. Is 10 / 35 the logical formula here (assuming 10 'full years')?

From what I've read, I can either make voluntary contributions as 'Class 2' or 'Class 3'. Some numbers I'm finding are circa 15 GBP / week. Is that in the ball-park? And how do I know whether I should pay Class 2 or Class 3?

Assuming the number of 15 GBP / week is in the ballpark for the cost of the voluntary contributions, then that would mean to get to the '10 full years' would cost me 15 * 52 * 2 = 1,560 GBP. Thus - for a one-time payment of 1,560 GBP I would start getting an annual payment of 2,442 GBP per year at retirement age. Clearly that would seem worth it! Obviously I can up-scale this to the maximum allowed catch-up, but for starters I just want to consider the 10 year minimum.

This page - https://www.gov.uk/voluntary-nationa...-contributions says the following, regarding class 2 and class 3:
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

Living abroad but not working
Class 3 - but only if at some point you’ve lived in the UK for at least 3 years in a row or paid at least 3 years of contributions


This page - https://www.gov.uk/voluntary-nationa...ibutions/rates says the following, regarding actual rates:

The rates for the 2019 to 2020 tax year are:

£3 a week for Class 2
£15 a week for Class 3


That's a BIG difference between Class 2 and Class 3! It seems I can easily qualify for Class 2, since I'm currently still working part-time, and I was working in the UK immediately prior to leaving (back in 83) and paid over 3 years contributions. So can I actually use 3 GBP in my calcs rather than 15 GBP? That makes this a VERY attractive proposition!

I found addresses and phone numbers in the UK on form NI 38 for more information; would a call to one of these locations be the best next step?

Steerpike is offline  
Old Nov 28th 2019, 7:20 pm
  #5  
BE Forum Addict
 
Joined: Jul 2008
Posts: 1,403
fulwood has a reputation beyond reputefulwood has a reputation beyond reputefulwood has a reputation beyond reputefulwood has a reputation beyond reputefulwood has a reputation beyond reputefulwood has a reputation beyond reputefulwood has a reputation beyond reputefulwood has a reputation beyond reputefulwood has a reputation beyond reputefulwood has a reputation beyond reputefulwood has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: National Insurance paid over 30 years ago ... any use?

Steerpike, is the web link you posted in your first message the place to find out about contributions? I liked to check out what mine is. Thanks.
fulwood is offline  
Old Nov 28th 2019, 7:32 pm
  #6  
Lost in BE Cyberspace
 
Joined: Nov 2012
Location: bute
Posts: 8,186
scot47 has a reputation beyond reputescot47 has a reputation beyond reputescot47 has a reputation beyond reputescot47 has a reputation beyond reputescot47 has a reputation beyond reputescot47 has a reputation beyond reputescot47 has a reputation beyond reputescot47 has a reputation beyond reputescot47 has a reputation beyond reputescot47 has a reputation beyond reputescot47 has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: National Insurance paid over 30 years ago ... any use?

There was talk about ending Class 2 NI, but paying at that rate is still possible. The qualifying conditions are rather odd.
scot47 is offline  
Old Nov 29th 2019, 1:17 am
  #7  
Lost in BE Cyberspace
Thread Starter
 
Steerpike's Avatar
 
Joined: Nov 2007
Location: Bay Area, CA / Scottsdale, AZ
Posts: 7,045
Steerpike has a reputation beyond reputeSteerpike has a reputation beyond reputeSteerpike has a reputation beyond reputeSteerpike has a reputation beyond reputeSteerpike has a reputation beyond reputeSteerpike has a reputation beyond reputeSteerpike has a reputation beyond reputeSteerpike has a reputation beyond reputeSteerpike has a reputation beyond reputeSteerpike has a reputation beyond reputeSteerpike has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: National Insurance paid over 30 years ago ... any use?

Originally Posted by fulwood View Post
Steerpike, is the web link you posted in your first message the place to find out about contributions? I liked to check out what mine is. Thanks.
Go to this site:

https://www.tax.service.gov.uk/check...ension/account

If you've never visited this site before, you'll have to go through a painful process that, for me, included firing up my UK cell (to receive a text), entering my UK passport details, and so on - but once I got in, I saw all the info I needed. I just re-visited the site, and again I had to fire up my UK cell to receive a text. I THOUGHT I needed to use a UK cell phone for the text, but in fact I just set up my US phone ... so that was an incorrect assumption.

I see that the address associated with my NI number is my UK address from the 70s. Not sure if I can safely change that to a US address.
Steerpike is offline  
Old Nov 29th 2019, 1:19 am
  #8  
Lost in BE Cyberspace
Thread Starter
 
Steerpike's Avatar
 
Joined: Nov 2007
Location: Bay Area, CA / Scottsdale, AZ
Posts: 7,045
Steerpike has a reputation beyond reputeSteerpike has a reputation beyond reputeSteerpike has a reputation beyond reputeSteerpike has a reputation beyond reputeSteerpike has a reputation beyond reputeSteerpike has a reputation beyond reputeSteerpike has a reputation beyond reputeSteerpike has a reputation beyond reputeSteerpike has a reputation beyond reputeSteerpike has a reputation beyond reputeSteerpike has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: National Insurance paid over 30 years ago ... any use?

Originally Posted by scot47 View Post
There was talk about ending Class 2 NI, but paying at that rate is still possible. The qualifying conditions are rather odd.
Well paying at that rate makes this incredibly attractive!

I guess I'll call the number tomorrow and see what kind of advice they can give.
Steerpike is offline  
Old Nov 29th 2019, 10:12 pm
  #9  
Forum Regular
 
Joined: Jul 2018
Posts: 91
vespucci has a reputation beyond reputevespucci has a reputation beyond reputevespucci has a reputation beyond reputevespucci has a reputation beyond reputevespucci has a reputation beyond reputevespucci has a reputation beyond reputevespucci has a reputation beyond reputevespucci has a reputation beyond reputevespucci has a reputation beyond reputevespucci has a reputation beyond reputevespucci has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: National Insurance paid over 30 years ago ... any use?

Originally Posted by Steerpike View Post
Well paying at that rate makes this incredibly attractive!

I guess I'll call the number tomorrow and see what kind of advice they can give.
You've left some money on the table by not doing this years earlier, but you'll still get a very good deal.
vespucci is offline  
Old Dec 1st 2019, 5:49 am
  #10  
Lost in BE Cyberspace
Thread Starter
 
Steerpike's Avatar
 
Joined: Nov 2007
Location: Bay Area, CA / Scottsdale, AZ
Posts: 7,045
Steerpike has a reputation beyond reputeSteerpike has a reputation beyond reputeSteerpike has a reputation beyond reputeSteerpike has a reputation beyond reputeSteerpike has a reputation beyond reputeSteerpike has a reputation beyond reputeSteerpike has a reputation beyond reputeSteerpike has a reputation beyond reputeSteerpike has a reputation beyond reputeSteerpike has a reputation beyond reputeSteerpike has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: National Insurance paid over 30 years ago ... any use?

Can anyone tell me how they determine what a 'full year' is? I'm seeing 'full years' for years when I was a full-time A-Level student! I did have a part-time job and I did work quite hard, but I can't imagine it was enough to pass any threshold. I'm not complaining, I'm just mystified. The reason I never pursued this until now is that I always assumed I only had 3-4 years 'credit', since I only worked 3-4 years full-time in the UK.
Steerpike is offline  
Old Dec 2nd 2019, 12:23 am
  #11  
Concierge
 
spouse of scouse's Avatar
 
Joined: Jan 2013
Location: Western Australia
Posts: 12,919
spouse of scouse has a reputation beyond reputespouse of scouse has a reputation beyond reputespouse of scouse has a reputation beyond reputespouse of scouse has a reputation beyond reputespouse of scouse has a reputation beyond reputespouse of scouse has a reputation beyond reputespouse of scouse has a reputation beyond reputespouse of scouse has a reputation beyond reputespouse of scouse has a reputation beyond reputespouse of scouse has a reputation beyond reputespouse of scouse has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: National Insurance paid over 30 years ago ... any use?

Originally Posted by Steerpike View Post
Can anyone tell me how they determine what a 'full year' is? I'm seeing 'full years' for years when I was a full-time A-Level student! I did have a part-time job and I did work quite hard, but I can't imagine it was enough to pass any threshold. I'm not complaining, I'm just mystified. The reason I never pursued this until now is that I always assumed I only had 3-4 years 'credit', since I only worked 3-4 years full-time in the UK.
I'd assume a 'full year' for NI calculation purposes would be one full UK tax year, but don't quote me on that!
spouse of scouse is offline  
Old Dec 2nd 2019, 12:50 am
  #12  
 
BritInParis's Avatar
 
Joined: Feb 2012
Location: Not in Paris
Posts: 15,658
BritInParis has a reputation beyond reputeBritInParis has a reputation beyond reputeBritInParis has a reputation beyond reputeBritInParis has a reputation beyond reputeBritInParis has a reputation beyond reputeBritInParis has a reputation beyond reputeBritInParis has a reputation beyond reputeBritInParis has a reputation beyond reputeBritInParis has a reputation beyond reputeBritInParis has a reputation beyond reputeBritInParis has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: National Insurance paid over 30 years ago ... any use?

If you’re in full-time education from 16-18 then you’re automatically credited with those years whether you work or not.
BritInParis is offline  
Old Dec 2nd 2019, 5:34 am
  #13  
Lost in BE Cyberspace
Thread Starter
 
Steerpike's Avatar
 
Joined: Nov 2007
Location: Bay Area, CA / Scottsdale, AZ
Posts: 7,045
Steerpike has a reputation beyond reputeSteerpike has a reputation beyond reputeSteerpike has a reputation beyond reputeSteerpike has a reputation beyond reputeSteerpike has a reputation beyond reputeSteerpike has a reputation beyond reputeSteerpike has a reputation beyond reputeSteerpike has a reputation beyond reputeSteerpike has a reputation beyond reputeSteerpike has a reputation beyond reputeSteerpike has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: National Insurance paid over 30 years ago ... any use?

Originally Posted by BritInParis View Post
If you’re in full-time education from 16-18 then you’re automatically credited with those years whether you work or not.
Wow.
Found this document - https://assets.publishing.service.go...-tier-note.pdf which confirms what you say (extract):
From 1975 16, 17 and 18 year olds were given credits if they stayed in full time education, approved training or apprenticeship to protect their state pension position. These credits were ended on 6 April 2010 because the reduction in the number of qualifying years required for a full basic State Pension at that time meant that they were no longer needed.
Pity they didn't do the same credit for my university years . However, they did credit me for some full years during my time at uni and afterwards in a manner that doesn't make sense to me. I took a year off between 2nd and 3rd years (79-80), and worked full-time. I then returned to uni for my 3rd year (80-81) - but I have full-year credits for 79-80 and 80-81 - maybe it's because I was technically being 'sponsored' by the company I worked for. I then worked for two years before heading to US in August 1983, but I have full credit for year 1983-84. How can I have a 'full credit' for a 'year' (which runs April to April, as I understand it) when I left and stopped earning in August 83 (I didn't make any voluntary payments back then).

Anyway - it's all good so the next step is to find out how to actually make the payments.
Steerpike is offline  
Old Dec 2nd 2019, 7:23 am
  #14  
Forum Regular
 
Joined: Jul 2018
Posts: 91
vespucci has a reputation beyond reputevespucci has a reputation beyond reputevespucci has a reputation beyond reputevespucci has a reputation beyond reputevespucci has a reputation beyond reputevespucci has a reputation beyond reputevespucci has a reputation beyond reputevespucci has a reputation beyond reputevespucci has a reputation beyond reputevespucci has a reputation beyond reputevespucci has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: National Insurance paid over 30 years ago ... any use?

Originally Posted by Steerpike View Post
Wow.
Found this document - https://assets.publishing.service.go...-tier-note.pdf which confirms what you say (extract):

Pity they didn't do the same credit for my university years . However, they did credit me for some full years during my time at uni and afterwards in a manner that doesn't make sense to me. I took a year off between 2nd and 3rd years (79-80), and worked full-time. I then returned to uni for my 3rd year (80-81) - but I have full-year credits for 79-80 and 80-81 - maybe it's because I was technically being 'sponsored' by the company I worked for. I then worked for two years before heading to US in August 1983, but I have full credit for year 1983-84. How can I have a 'full credit' for a 'year' (which runs April to April, as I understand it) when I left and stopped earning in August 83 (I didn't make any voluntary payments back then).

Anyway - it's all good so the next step is to find out how to actually make the payments.
I think it's based on the amount you earned in the tax year, rather than the length of time you were employed.
vespucci is offline  
Old Dec 2nd 2019, 5:54 pm
  #15  
Lost in BE Cyberspace
Thread Starter
 
Steerpike's Avatar
 
Joined: Nov 2007
Location: Bay Area, CA / Scottsdale, AZ
Posts: 7,045
Steerpike has a reputation beyond reputeSteerpike has a reputation beyond reputeSteerpike has a reputation beyond reputeSteerpike has a reputation beyond reputeSteerpike has a reputation beyond reputeSteerpike has a reputation beyond reputeSteerpike has a reputation beyond reputeSteerpike has a reputation beyond reputeSteerpike has a reputation beyond reputeSteerpike has a reputation beyond reputeSteerpike has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: National Insurance paid over 30 years ago ... any use?

I just got off the phone with a pensions 'helpline' in UK. The lady said because I've been working abroad, I'm not limited to the 5 years of catch up allowed, and I can catch up from roughly 2003 to now - 15 years or so. AND - it seems - I can start making 'current' payments going forward! She said I should fill out form NI38 as best as I can for now, then mail it in. They will respond with more details as to what my options are ... "in about 7 weeks plus 4 weeks postage" ... which I'm going to assume will be a lot less. Next step is to mail in the paperwork ... I'll post back here as things progress.
Steerpike is offline  

Contact Us Archive Advertising Cookie Policy Privacy Statement Terms of Service

Copyright © 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.