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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 Apr 17th 2023, 6:29 am
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Default Re: Class 2 NI abolished. What about us poor expats paying voluntary contributio

I posted my CF83 form from the UK on 23 March and have been keeping an eye on the "Track your forms" page of the "Communications" tab on the HMRC app, but it is still showing "You have no forms". HMRC told me that once it is scanned-in it should appear there, but that could take a couple of weeks.

Has anyone noticed how long it takes to appear on their app (if it appears at all)?

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Old Apr 19th 2023, 2:33 am
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Default Re: Class 2 NI abolished. What about us poor expats paying voluntary contributio

Originally Posted by maxibob
Do I have to have started work immediately after I arrived in the USA? I have been here for 32 years, and don't have W2's going back that far. I left the UK in Summer of 1991, worked for more than 3 years in the UK immediately prior to leaving, however I did not start working in the US until 2-3 months after arriving. I do have a US Social Security Statement showing that I had made contributions in the USA starting in 1991 (although it shows 1991-2000 as cumulative years). When I look on UK.GOV it is showing that I will owe 824 GBP per year, which seems to be the Class 3 rate. Also FYI for anyone interested it looks like HMRC has extended the date for completing and filing Form CF83 until July 20, 2023 as they have a backlog of several months.
I emigrated in 1995 and, with the exception of a couple of temp jobs, didn't really work until 2006. I have been able to contribute from 2006-2002. They didn't ask for W2s or any evidence. I'm assuming they check with Social Security, because the only year they have left blank and are "investigating" is the year I made zero income. I am self employed and had a lot of write offs. I did work though, so I reckon I should still be eligible for Class 2
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Old Apr 19th 2023, 4:31 am
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Default Re: Class 2 NI abolished. What about us poor expats paying voluntary contributio

Originally Posted by stephend-
I posted my CF83 form from the UK on 23 March and have been keeping an eye on the "Track your forms" page of the "Communications" tab on the HMRC app, but it is still showing "You have no forms". HMRC told me that once it is scanned-in it should appear there, but that could take a couple of weeks.

Has anyone noticed how long it takes to appear on their app (if it appears at all)?

I think you are being very optimistic… no idea on the app, but I recall it taking maybe 9+ months when I submitted the forms.
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Old Apr 19th 2023, 9:56 am
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Default Re: Class 2 NI abolished. What about us poor expats paying voluntary contributio

I did not realize I could track the form so thank you for that information. I sent the form recorded delivery while in UK in March 15th and it is showing on the app as received.
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Old Apr 19th 2023, 11:29 am
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Default Re: Class 2 NI abolished. What about us poor expats paying voluntary contributio

When I completed my form I was detailed & honest and included 2 short periods of unemployment (several months) and for those periods they calculated and I paid Class 3, the rest I paid Class 2. I did start work straight away in the US as I was an inter-company transfer L2 visa.
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Old Apr 23rd 2023, 8:45 am
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Default Re: Class 2 NI abolished. What about us poor expats paying voluntary contributio

My head hurts.

After working in the US for most of my adult life, I am now back in the UK. Still working, self-employed.

I left the UK very young, but on checking my record it seems I have actually been credited with three years of contributions. As I understand it, I can buy back years to get to 10 as long as it's by the end(ish) of July of this year. At 800 and some quid per year, that's not even going to be possible even if it were worth it, but some preliminary reading suggests that since I am now self-employed, I could pay Class 2 contributions to buy those years and of course that is much less.

I am self employed as a director of my own company. Husband is the other director. Have not yet check how many years he has, but he will have a few more than I do.

Before I wait on the phone until am I of pension age with HMRC, does anybody know if I would indeed qualify for Class 2, or what else I should review to see if I do?

Thanks for any help.

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Old Apr 23rd 2023, 1:05 pm
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Default Re: Class 2 NI abolished. What about us poor expats paying voluntary contributio

These are the rules for Class 2 voluntary contributions.

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

The word immediately is a bit vague, I think it can mean if there were any NI contributions from employment in the NI year in which you left, or possibly the prior year. If your only contributions are the three years that you typically get (for free) between 16 and 18 while still at school, you may be out of luck there, but you could get lucky and find that they count because they are categorized the same as employment.

If you are still employed perhaps you can still make enough future contributions to meet the minimum of 10 required to receive something. If not, I would consider a loan to make the necessary years, you should still come out well ahead.

Last edited by Glasgow Girl; Apr 23rd 2023 at 1:08 pm.
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Old Apr 23rd 2023, 2:04 pm
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Default Re: Class 2 NI abolished. What about us poor expats paying voluntary contributio

Originally Posted by Lion in Winter
My head hurts.

After working in the US for most of my adult life, I am now back in the UK. Still working, self-employed.

I left the UK very young, but on checking my record it seems I have actually been credited with three years of contributions. As I understand it, I can buy back years to get to 10 as long as it's by the end(ish) of July of this year. At 800 and some quid per year, that's not even going to be possible even if it were worth it, but some preliminary reading suggests that since I am now self-employed, I could pay Class 2 contributions to buy those years and of course that is much less.

I am self employed as a director of my own company. Husband is the other director. Have not yet check how many years he has, but he will have a few more than I do.

Before I wait on the phone until am I of pension age with HMRC, does anybody know if I would indeed qualify for Class 2, or what else I should review to see if I do?

Thanks for any help.
I'm sure you've already looked at this, but would the US/UK social security agreement help you in any way, such as credits for years worked in the US added to your NI qualifying years?
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Old Apr 23rd 2023, 5:41 pm
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Default Re: Class 2 NI abolished. What about us poor expats paying voluntary contributio

Originally Posted by spouse of scouse
I'm sure you've already looked at this, but would the US/UK social security agreement help you in any way, such as credits for years worked in the US added to your NI qualifying years?
Don't know, but it seems unlikely that I could double dip. I will be getting social security direct from the US so it seems unlikely that I could use the same contributions for a UK state pension as well.

I had always assumed that I wouldn't get any UK pension, just US social security and the annuity from my employer sponsored plan.
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Old Apr 23rd 2023, 5:44 pm
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Default Re: Class 2 NI abolished. What about us poor expats paying voluntary contributio

Originally Posted by Glasgow Girl
These are the rules for Class 2 voluntary contributions.

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

The word immediately is a bit vague, I think it can mean if there were any NI contributions from employment in the NI year in which you left, or possibly the prior year. If your only contributions are the three years that you typically get (for free) between 16 and 18 while still at school, you may be out of luck there, but you could get lucky and find that they count because they are categorized the same as employment.

If you are still employed perhaps you can still make enough future contributions to meet the minimum of 10 required to receive something. If not, I would consider a loan to make the necessary years, you should still come out well ahead.
I'll have to dig through the info in my account and see exactly what I would have to pay, but the Class 2 would make a huge difference. I suspect it's unlikely though since I was out of the country.
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Old Apr 23rd 2023, 11:19 pm
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Default Re: Class 2 NI abolished. What about us poor expats paying voluntary contributio

Originally Posted by Glasgow Girl
.... If your only contributions are the three years that you typically get (for free) between 16 and 18 while still at school, you may be out of luck there, but you could get lucky and find that they count because they are categorized the same as employment. ....
In order to be allowed to make any (even Class 3) voluntary contributions you have to have three years of actually paid contributions, deemed years do not count.

So if this means what I think it means, LiW may have to wait another two years before she can contribute for 2018-19, 2019-20, and 2020-21, being the only years within the "six prior years" when she reaches three years of paid contributions.

Last edited by Pulaski; Apr 23rd 2023 at 11:26 pm.
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Old Apr 23rd 2023, 11:52 pm
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Default Re: Class 2 NI abolished. What about us poor expats paying voluntary contributio

Originally Posted by Pulaski
In order to be allowed to make any (even Class 3) voluntary contributions you have to have three years of actually paid contributions, deemed years do not count.
According to the Government website, to make voluntary Class 2 or 3 contributions you must have lived in the UK for 3 years in a row OR have paid at least 3 years of contributions. Lion will qualify as having lived in the UK.
https://www.gov.uk/voluntary-nationa...-contributions

Lion needs to speak to the NI people soonest given the pending deadline and get the official options for self and husband. Given the years they already have, topping up to at least 10 to get a partial pension will give the biggest return, and topping up as much as allowed beyond that is also likely to be beneficial. Class 2 is obviously much better, but Class 3 may also deliver a positive return. A critical point for Class 2 eligibility would appear to be whether Lion of husband worked in the UK prior to moving (and working) overseas, so Lion should make a note of the employment records, both in the UK and overseas, before calling the NI helpline.

Lion can also (or, depending on income, may be required to) pay NI going forwards.
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Old Apr 24th 2023, 12:06 am
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Default Re: Class 2 NI abolished. What about us poor expats paying voluntary contributio

Originally Posted by tdrinker
.... Given the years they already have, topping up to at least 10 to get a partial pension will give the biggest return, and topping up as much as allowed beyond that is also likely to be beneficial. Class 2 is obviously much better, but Class 3 may also deliver a positive return. ....
IMO there's no "may" about it. There are no other pension investments when you are approaching retirement (less than say 10-15 years away) that will repay the amount invested in only three years of drawing the pension, which is the case for Class 3 contributions. It might be more debatable if you are borrowing to pay for Class 3 contributions.
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Old Apr 24th 2023, 12:27 am
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Default Re: Class 2 NI abolished. What about us poor expats paying voluntary contributio

Your tax rate is a factor in the return, as the NI contributions are paid from after tax income and the pension should also be considered after tax - the state pension is taxable if in the UK the marginal tax rate, which can be as high as 60%, albeit only for a minority of people, but likely 20%, and 40% is not that unusual. Also relevant is if someone is living in a frozen pension location, i.e. doesn't receive the annual increases. Of course, we don't know what will change in the future, to tax rates or anything else, all you can do is make a decision based on how it is now and accept it's bound to change for better or worse, but probably (hopefully?) not fundamentally.

But for someone in decent health, i.e. likely to draw the pension for a number of years, it's highly likely to be a good investment. My view is that I don't know how many years I'll draw the pension, so if I reach retirement in good health it's a good investment, and if not I have bigger things to worry about.
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Old Apr 24th 2023, 1:35 am
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Default Re: Class 2 NI abolished. What about us poor expats paying voluntary contributio

Originally Posted by Pulaski
IMO there's no "may" about it. There are no other pension investments when you are approaching retirement (less than say 10-15 years away) that will repay the amount invested in only three years of drawing the pension, which is the case for Class 3 contributions. It might be more debatable if you are borrowing to pay for Class 3 contributions.
I agree. Even at the current cost of £907/year you could not get anywhere close to as good as return if you tried to invest it elsewhere. For example if you paid £907 the year before you started receiving your pension you would get £303/year starting the following year (that is 1/35th of the full pension for every year of contributions). You can play with spreadsheets to estimate costs and returns if you start paying in during the years leading up to retirement age.

ETA
If you invest your £907 you will also be paying tax on the earnings so while taxes matter you are going to be paying taxes on whatever income you generate from your "contributions"

Last edited by durham_lad; Apr 24th 2023 at 1:44 am.
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