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Class 2 NI. What about us poor expats paying voluntary contributions?

Class 2 NI. What about us poor expats paying voluntary contributions?

Old Jun 24th 2022, 12:57 am
  #421  
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Default Re: Class 2 NI abolished. What about us poor expats paying voluntary contributio

I checked my application, I put UK and overseas addresses. The occasional letter is sent to the UK address, therefore I also recommend leaving the UK address blank if you don't have one. I don't know if anything is sent to the overseas address as I've moved on.

If you have a UK bank account, you can set up a direct debit so you don't have to contact them annually to pay that year's contribution. The letters I get tend to be an annual notification of the new payment rate. I don't know if you can pay by direct debit from an overseas bank account; I suppose it depends on whether you can specify payment in GBP not your local currency.
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Old Jun 24th 2022, 1:05 am
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Default Re: Class 2 NI abolished. What about us poor expats paying voluntary contributio

Originally Posted by tdrinker
I checked my application, I put UK and overseas addresses. The occasional letter is sent to the UK address, therefore I also recommend leaving the UK address blank if you don't have one. I don't know if anything is sent to the overseas address as I've moved on.

If you have a UK bank account, you can set up a direct debit so you don't have to contact them annually to pay that year's contribution. The letters I get tend to be an annual notification of the new payment rate. I don't know if you can pay by direct debit from an overseas bank account; I suppose it depends on whether you can specify payment in GBP not your local currency.
ok good to know - I might just put my Father's UK address as I use this for local correspondence. Might be better as letters can get lost coming overseas or just take 2-3 months sometimes.

Yes I have a UK bank account so I will use this
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Old Oct 25th 2022, 3:25 am
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Default Re: Class 2 NI abolished. What about us poor expats paying voluntary contributio

Finally managed to pay last 3 yrs, class 2, its taken more than a year to get it straightened out.

initially last year HMRC sent me a letter asking for class 3, after I had submitted a class 2 request via form NI38 many months prior.
I had previously paid class 2 for 2018-2019, I had no idea why they sent me class 3, they did not either.
this time I sent them a copy all my W2's & visa to show I had started work immediately upon arrival for a US employer in U.S in 2017 and was a tax resident here since then, along with a covering letter and a fresh NI38. finally (5 months later) got the Correct letter and tried to pay, and the reference did not work, so I called in to hmrc to get another reference/ac number

Grateful to be abled to top up, forgiving the 'quirks' in the administration.

Its a good idea to keep records of payments and letters.

Last edited by hutchison; Oct 25th 2022 at 3:32 am.
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Old Oct 25th 2022, 10:57 am
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Default Re: Class 2 NI abolished. What about us poor expats paying voluntary contributio

So having failed to be able/ allowed to create an online account on the DWP website, I phoned DWP and requested a state pension estimate, which has now arrived. It answers the two important questions (what pension I can expect, and how much more (number of years) I have to pay), but annoyingly it doesn't give any clue as to how the number was calculated.

My contribution record based on what I know, and in relation to Class 2 contributions, how many years I remember paying, is as follows:

[1] 2 years of deemed contributions for when I was at school. (Of course this spans 3 calendar years.)

[2] 5 years during which I worked for part of the year (period of work each year varied from approximately 14 weeks (3 years), to 29 weeks (2 years overlapping with ....

[3] 4 years when I was a student (which I thought I knew was not covered by deemed contributions).

[4] 13 years of employment in the UK during which I was contracted out for most of, if not the entire period. The DWP letter includes an estimated £29/ wk in respect of the contracted out NI which it explictly states is in addition to the maximum state pension,"), so I know I was contracted out for at least some of the years, and likely all 13 years. And

[5] I think I have paid 11 years of Class 2 contributions since I left the UK.

So according to the DWP estimate I am potentially eligible to achieve the maximum standard UK state pension - value today £185.15 (a figure I have confirmed online today) by paying only 3 (three) more years of contributions, which implies that I currently have 32 years of qualifying contributions.

If I include every single year after I reached the age of 16 until I left the UK, plus all the years I know I made Class 2 contributions that only comes to 31 years, so I must have made one more year of Class 2 contributions (assuming that it isn't possible to accrue double years by working and being a student during the same year ).

I have long "known" that [1] students at uni don't get deemed years of NI contributions, and [2] I would get a reduced pension due to being contracted out for several years, so the mystery is how I somehow seem to have a contribution record that is nearly complete.

I guess I will never know, and should be pleased to only have to contribute three more years. I already have the bill to pay for 2020 (which for some reason is only about £10 OIRC ) and for 2021 (about £161 IIRC), and I am going to phone the DWP and find out if I am eligible to contribute for any years as far back as 2006 (under a current extra concession), so there is a good chance I will have a full 35 years and can look forward to a full UK state pension when I retire. .... Even if it is paid in currency with approximately the value of chocolate buttons.

Last edited by Pulaski; Oct 25th 2022 at 11:12 am.
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Old Oct 25th 2022, 7:36 pm
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Default Re: Class 2 NI abolished. What about us poor expats paying voluntary contributio

mmm, chocolate buttons….
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Old Oct 25th 2022, 10:27 pm
  #426  
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Default Re: Class 2 NI abolished. What about us poor expats paying voluntary contributio

Originally Posted by Pulaski
Even if it is paid in currency with approximately the value of chocolate buttons.
You don't know what the exchange rate will be when the pension is paid some years hence. Only that the current exchange rate benefits you by reducing the cost of your voluntary NI payments.
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Old Oct 26th 2022, 12:36 am
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Default Re: Class 2 NI abolished. What about us poor expats paying voluntary contributio

Originally Posted by tdrinker
.... the current exchange rate benefits you by reducing the cost of your voluntary NI payments.
Except I pay my NI contributions out of my bank account in the UK.
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Old Oct 26th 2022, 1:06 am
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Default Re: Class 2 NI abolished. What about us poor expats paying voluntary contributio

Originally Posted by Pulaski
So having failed to be able/ allowed to create an online account on the DWP website, I phoned DWP and requested a state pension estimate, which has now arrived. It answers the two important questions (what pension I can expect, and how much more (number of years) I have to pay), but annoyingly it doesn't give any clue as to how the number was calculated.

My contribution record based on what I know, and in relation to Class 2 contributions, how many years I remember paying, is as follows:

[1] 2 years of deemed contributions for when I was at school. (Of course this spans 3 calendar years.)

[2] 5 years during which I worked for part of the year (period of work each year varied from approximately 14 weeks (3 years), to 29 weeks (2 years overlapping with ....

[3] 4 years when I was a student (which I thought I knew was not covered by deemed contributions).

[4] 13 years of employment in the UK during which I was contracted out for most of, if not the entire period. The DWP letter includes an estimated £29/ wk in respect of the contracted out NI which it explictly states is in addition to the maximum state pension,"), so I know I was contracted out for at least some of the years, and likely all 13 years. And

[5] I think I have paid 11 years of Class 2 contributions since I left the UK.

So according to the DWP estimate I am potentially eligible to achieve the maximum standard UK state pension - value today £185.15 (a figure I have confirmed online today) by paying only 3 (three) more years of contributions, which implies that I currently have 32 years of qualifying contributions.

If I include every single year after I reached the age of 16 until I left the UK, plus all the years I know I made Class 2 contributions that only comes to 31 years, so I must have made one more year of Class 2 contributions (assuming that it isn't possible to accrue double years by working and being a student during the same year ).

I have long "known" that [1] students at uni don't get deemed years of NI contributions, and [2] I would get a reduced pension due to being contracted out for several years, so the mystery is how I somehow seem to have a contribution record that is nearly complete.

I guess I will never know, and should be pleased to only have to contribute three more years. I already have the bill to pay for 2020 (which for some reason is only about £10 OIRC ) and for 2021 (about £161 IIRC), and I am going to phone the DWP and find out if I am eligible to contribute for any years as far back as 2006 (under a current extra concession), so there is a good chance I will have a full 35 years and can look forward to a full UK state pension when I retire. .... Even if it is paid in currency with approximately the value of chocolate buttons.
never been to DWP site. Have you looked at these ?

https://www.tax.service.gov.uk/check...count/nirecord

breaks out every year for me since I was 16. Including the amount paid for non class 2 years.

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

this page shows my current estimate, and the max of GBP 185.15 if I contribute 9 years more.


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Old Oct 26th 2022, 1:21 am
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Default Re: Class 2 NI abolished. What about us poor expats paying voluntary contributio

If you're paying class 2, I guess it's so cheap the exchange rate makes no real difference. Different when the pension is paid, but as you're (hopefully) going to collect it for 20+ years the exchange rate will probably bounce up and down during that time. Mind you, the trend over the past few decades is the £ weakening vs. $.

https://www.macrotrends.net/2549/pou...storical-chart
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Old Oct 26th 2022, 3:04 am
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Default Re: Class 2 NI abolished. What about us poor expats paying voluntary contributio

Originally Posted by Pulaski
So having failed to be able/ allowed to create an online account on the DWP website .....
Originally Posted by tht
never been to DWP site. Have you looked at these? .....
No, for the reason previously stated. While in theory there are 5-6 methods of proving my identity to verify myself and open an account, when I actually try to open an account only two of them are offered to me, of which the more promising was driving licence information ... my last UK DL expired about 16 years ago!

I may try sometime to call the DWP for help in opening an account so I can view the detailed records you have recommended to me.
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Old Oct 26th 2022, 3:35 am
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Default Re: Class 2 NI abolished. What about us poor expats paying voluntary contributio

Originally Posted by Pulaski
So having failed to be able/ allowed to create an online account on the DWP website, I phoned DWP and requested a state pension estimate, which has now arrived. It answers the two important questions (what pension I can expect, and how much more (number of years) I have to pay), but annoyingly it doesn't give any clue as to how the number was calculated.

My contribution record based on what I know, and in relation to Class 2 contributions, how many years I remember paying, is as follows:

[1] 2 years of deemed contributions for when I was at school. (Of course this spans 3 calendar years.)

[2] 5 years during which I worked for part of the year (period of work each year varied from approximately 14 weeks (3 years), to 29 weeks (2 years overlapping with ....

[3] 4 years when I was a student (which I thought I knew was not covered by deemed contributions).

[4] 13 years of employment in the UK during which I was contracted out for most of, if not the entire period. The DWP letter includes an estimated £29/ wk in respect of the contracted out NI which it explictly states is in addition to the maximum state pension,"), so I know I was contracted out for at least some of the years, and likely all 13 years. And

[5] I think I have paid 11 years of Class 2 contributions since I left the UK.

So according to the DWP estimate I am potentially eligible to achieve the maximum standard UK state pension - value today £185.15 (a figure I have confirmed online today) by paying only 3 (three) more years of contributions, which implies that I currently have 32 years of qualifying contributions.

If I include every single year after I reached the age of 16 until I left the UK, plus all the years I know I made Class 2 contributions that only comes to 31 years, so I must have made one more year of Class 2 contributions (assuming that it isn't possible to accrue double years by working and being a student during the same year ).

I have long "known" that [1] students at uni don't get deemed years of NI contributions, and [2] I would get a reduced pension due to being contracted out for several years, so the mystery is how I somehow seem to have a contribution record that is nearly complete.

I guess I will never know, and should be pleased to only have to contribute three more years. I already have the bill to pay for 2020 (which for some reason is only about £10 OIRC ) and for 2021 (about £161 IIRC), and I am going to phone the DWP and find out if I am eligible to contribute for any years as far back as 2006 (under a current extra concession), so there is a good chance I will have a full 35 years and can look forward to a full UK state pension when I retire. .... Even if it is paid in currency with approximately the value of chocolate buttons.
Ask them for your NI record. That will provide a year by year accounting of what years were considered full years and which were not. They will differentiate between full years attained by paid earnings, and those credited (for whatever reason). Voluntary NIs are identified as paid earnings so you can’t differentiate those years from earnings, but presumably any years after you moved here would be the voluntary ones.

Back in the day, you got a credit for the year you turned 16 and the two years after that, essentially you were credited for the years that included your 16th, 17th and 18th birthdays. Maybe that is where your missing year is? Also, I believe you could earn a full year by earning the lower annual limit for paying NI contributions at any time during the year, you don't have to work all 52 weeks. The lower annual limit is pretty low so you probably earned full years when you were working part time, but your record will verify that.

There are two ways you could have been contracted out. Directly, by making a personal decision to do so and directing the corresponding NI rebate into a private policy which would have invested the proceeds. You should have a record of that or at least some memory of it since it would have involved pretty specific action on your part and the the private policy would send you annual updates. If that is the case you need to track that down because you have some funds there! Or, indirectly via a company pension scheme which would have automatically included the NI rebate into your company retirement, in which case it is likely you have no memory of this because it was probably buried in the fine print when you signed up for the scheme. Back in the day it was common for people to be contracted out by virtue of being in a company scheme and not realizing they were contracted out. Ether way, if you were contracted out then your pension forecast will include a Contracted Out Pension Equivalent, COPE, which is deducted from your state pension to ensure that you do not benefit over those who did not contact out. If you don't have a COPE amount then you were not contracted out. Anyone contracted out typically has to contribute more than 35 years to get the full state pension because even if you qualify for the maximum pension by having 35 years the COPE is then deducted and you have to claw it back which you can achieve with each post 2016 year attained after you have hit the 35 years.

Can’t explain why they are stating that the 29 is in a addition to the state pension because if you were contracted out then the COPE amount is deducted not added, unless they are trying to point out that if contracted out then either your private policy or your company pension plan is supposed to provide this amount in lieu of the state pension. To that extent it is in addition to your state pension but since it is deducted from the state pension and provided by another source it simply makes you whole again.

If you have 31 years of contributions, possibly 32 (see above) and will get the full state pension after another 3 years that implies you were never contracted out, because the COPE deduction would mean that you pension is reduced. The only way that would not be the case would be if you were contracted in for some years, and also contracted out for other years, which is quite likely if you were employed prior to 1987 (maybe 1986) when they started the option to contract out. It is possible that the earnings related supplement built up when not contracted out is larger than the COPE deduction for the years you were contracted out.

Confusing, yes! The key is to first establish how many full years you have, and importantly which were pre and post 2016 because it affects the calculation, and determining if you have a COPE amount. With that information to some extent you can backtrack into their calculations.

EDIT: Not all company pension schemes contracted out, some did and some did not. So it is possible to have ben in a company pension scheme and not have a COPE amount.

Last edited by Glasgow Girl; Oct 26th 2022 at 3:42 am. Reason: Added more Information on Company Pension Schemes
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Old Oct 26th 2022, 4:31 am
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Default Re: Class 2 NI abolished. What about us poor expats paying voluntary contributio

Originally Posted by Glasgow Girl
.
Thank you for that, it looks very helpful. I haven't read it all yet, but yes, it looks like the third deemed year may explain the one year discrepancy overall.

Also I am definitely, absolutely certain that I was contracted out, signing papers to do so, probably late in 1989, or early 1990. The DWP confirmed I was contracted out, hence their wild guess of £29/wk of additional income, over and above the £185.15 state pension. My pension savings from 1989 to 1996 were all standalone private pensions, and I didn't join a company pension scheme until mid 1996, and I believe because of changes of employer. I didn't get any vested company pension funds until 1999. Changing employer again in early 2000, and in anticipation of leaving the UK, I did not contribute to a company scheme in 2000 or 2001, opting again for a standalone privaye pension, which gave the pension rep a headache as "pension mis-selling" had become a huge issue and his compliance department insisted on a second meeting solely to tell me why what I was doing was a bad idea, and then to sign a waiver if I wished to continue. ... which I did, as I would be leaving the company before investments vested, and all I would have got was a refund check for my contributions.

And if modest income for part of a year can generate a full year's credit, then that would explain me getting credited with all the years I was a student. I was working heavy overtime during my summer breaks - typically 70-80hrs/wk, and making extremely good money for a student, which paid for my CD and concert habits, while still leaving enough to graduate with cash savings in the bank .... and a portfolio of unit trusts!

Last edited by Pulaski; Oct 26th 2022 at 4:41 am.
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Old Oct 26th 2022, 6:42 am
  #433  
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Default Re: Class 2 NI abolished. What about us poor expats paying voluntary contributio

Originally Posted by Pulaski
...
And if modest income for part of a year can generate a full year's credit, then that would explain me getting credited with all the years I was a student. I was working heavy overtime during my summer breaks - typically 70-80hrs/wk, and making extremely good money for a student, which paid for my CD and concert habits, while still leaving enough to graduate with cash savings in the bank .... and a portfolio of unit trusts!
As I posted in this thread years ago, National Insurance paid over 30 years ago ... any use? , I was shocked to learn I had 8 full years of contributions according to the Government. I was a full-time student (A-levels 75-77, then Uni 77-81), then worked for only 2 years (81-83) before heading to the US. I did work 1 year as a 'gap' year (79-80), so that's a total of 3 years of work, but nowhere near 8. I did work in the holidays, but can't imagine I passed any thresholds for those years. I left the UK in August 1983, but got full credit for tax year 83-84. I could never understand it, but didn't argue!

Edit To Add:
When you refer to the "DWP site", are you talking about a different site from the HMRC site (HMRC = HM Revenue and Customs) - this is the site I'm using to do all my checking on credits, etc - https://www.tax.service.gov.uk/check...count/nirecord


FWIW, I seem to remember, all I needed was my old NI number to create an account ... but I don't have a strong recollection now.

Last edited by Steerpike; Oct 26th 2022 at 6:58 am.
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Old Oct 26th 2022, 6:56 am
  #434  
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Default Re: Class 2 NI abolished. What about us poor expats paying voluntary contributio

Originally Posted by Steerpike
When you refer to the "DWP site", are you talking about a different site from the HMRC site (HMRC = HM Revenue and Customs) - this is the site I'm using to do all my checking on credits, etc - https://www.tax.service.gov.uk/check...count/nirecord
I believe Pulaski's issue is that he cannot get into the Government Gateway, so none of the sites people have suggested are accessible to him.
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Old Oct 26th 2022, 7:03 am
  #435  
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Default Re: Class 2 NI abolished. What about us poor expats paying voluntary contributio

Originally Posted by MidAtlantic
I believe Pulaski's issue is that he cannot get into the Government Gateway, so none of the sites people have suggested are accessible to him.
I just went back through my notes from when I dealt with this in 2019, and all I seemed to need was my NI number and the street address I was using while a student. I recall being rather surprised I got in so easily! Maybe things have changed since 2019.
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