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Women and Pensions plus government gateway

Women and Pensions plus government gateway

Old Jul 22nd 2021, 4:52 pm
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Default Women and Pensions plus government gateway

OK, as I turn 64 in the next 2 weeks I thought, I check my state pension in the UK as its the only pension I am entitled to apart from a paltry sum from the civil service (about £45 a month). Apparently, pensions for women changed in 2016 and I am not sure under the new rules that I qualify for anything. There is no longer a widow's pension (my DH will be here long after me, I suspect, so not really an issue).
So I signed up with the government gate way, got the required ID and then you are taken to another page where you are to provided 2 out of 3 items. A valid UK passport #, Credit reference questions For example, the year you took out a credit card or phone contract or NI drivers license. Obviously I could only answer one question as we haven't resided in the UK for more than 20 yrs! I did try my old postcode which came up with my old address but it came up with we cannot confirm your address.
Why allow me to sign up for an account, if its not intended for expats? They obviously knows expats are using it as they send a verification number to my phone. I did send a feed back form but that was send to the NI government office. When I replied to their answer they gave me exactly the same web address I had already used!
The good news it seems I can apply at 66, not the 66 plus so many months as before. My poor youngest sister has to work until she is 67 but at least, she will have a pension. I wonder if with this Covid episode, they will continue with the plans to raise the pension age to 68, given that life expectancy was going down even before the pandemic.
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Old Jul 22nd 2021, 6:14 pm
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Default Re: Women and Pensions plus government gateway

I went through this exact process just a few weeks ago and like you got stuck at the UK address part. I ended up speaking with someone at the National Insurance office back in the UK. They told me it was fine to use my last UK address (mine was from 9 years ago) and once I entered that, I was able to submit passport details and do the credit check and I was good to go. So I would try again and just use your last UK address from 20 years ago. Make sure your account is up to date with your current US mailing address so they can send you any paperwork required in the post. Are you going to pay your Class 2 voluntary contributions to make up your shortfall years to ensure a full pension?

ETA - if you still can't get signed up online, they were extremely helpful on the phone, she even offered to stay on the line while I entered passport details and did the credit check to make sure I got completed. Cost me $90 in call charges though!

Last edited by CA-NY; Jul 22nd 2021 at 6:18 pm.
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Old Jul 22nd 2021, 6:43 pm
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Default Re: Women and Pensions plus government gateway

Originally Posted by CA-NY View Post
I went through this exact process just a few weeks ago and like you got stuck at the UK address part. I ended up speaking with someone at the National Insurance office back in the UK. They told me it was fine to use my last UK address (mine was from 9 years ago) and once I entered that, I was able to submit passport details and do the credit check and I was good to go. So I would try again and just use your last UK address from 20 years ago. Make sure your account is up to date with your current US mailing address so they can send you any paperwork required in the post. Are you going to pay your Class 2 voluntary contributions to make up your shortfall years to ensure a full pension?

ETA - if you still can't get signed up online, they were extremely helpful on the phone, she even offered to stay on the line while I entered passport details and did the credit check to make sure I got completed. Cost me $90 in call charges though!
$90 is 50+ hours on the phone even using a more expensive provider like skype… were you calling a premium line? I called:+44 191 203 7010

HMRC specifies has a non “local rate” normal landline number to call to save expensive call rates:

https://www.gov.uk/government/organi...n-uk-residents

Last edited by tht; Jul 22nd 2021 at 6:46 pm.
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Old Jul 22nd 2021, 6:49 pm
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Default Re: Women and Pensions plus government gateway

Originally Posted by CA-NY View Post
I went through this exact process just a few weeks ago and like you got stuck at the UK address part. I ended up speaking with someone at the National Insurance office back in the UK. They told me it was fine to use my last UK address (mine was from 9 years ago) and once I entered that, I was able to submit passport details and do the credit check and I was good to go. So I would try again and just use your last UK address from 20 years ago. Make sure your account is up to date with your current US mailing address so they can send you any paperwork required in the post. Are you going to pay your Class 2 voluntary contributions to make up your shortfall years to ensure a full pension?

ETA - if you still can't get signed up online, they were extremely helpful on the phone, she even offered to stay on the line while I entered passport details and did the credit check to make sure I got completed. Cost me $90 in call charges though!
I retried my old UK address and it still didn't work 😢 I think I have too many years to make voluntary contributions but if I can I will. I send more feedback via their rate this website. They were pretty quick replying to my last query even if wasn't that helpful. My bank card is registered with our US address but the site doesn't take zip code numbers. I think on reflection that is the issue.
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Old Jul 22nd 2021, 6:59 pm
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Default Re: Women and Pensions plus government gateway

Originally Posted by tht View Post
$90 is 50+ hours on the phone even using a more expensive provider like skype… were you calling a premium line? I called:+44 191 203 7010

HMRC specifies has a non “local rate” normal landline number to call to save expensive call rates:

https://www.gov.uk/government/organi...n-uk-residents
Yes I definitely messed up, I think it was maybe an 0345 number. Will know better the next time!
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Old Jul 22nd 2021, 6:59 pm
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Default Re: Women and Pensions plus government gateway

Originally Posted by tht View Post
$90 is 50+ hours on the phone even using a more expensive provider like skype… were you calling a premium line? I called:+44 191 203 7010

HMRC specifies has a non “local rate” normal landline number to call to save expensive call rates:

https://www.gov.uk/government/organi...n-uk-residents
Good to know. Thanks
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Old Jul 22nd 2021, 7:02 pm
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Default Re: Women and Pensions plus government gateway

Originally Posted by jjmb View Post
I retried my old UK address and it still didn't work 😢 I think I have too many years to make voluntary contributions but if I can I will. I send more feedback via their rate this website. They were pretty quick replying to my last query even if wasn't that helpful. My bank card is registered with our US address but the site doesn't take zip code numbers. I think on reflection that is the issue.
Consider a call to a real person, I'm sure they will be able to help you get set up. Good luck.
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Old Jul 22nd 2021, 8:09 pm
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Default Re: Women and Pensions plus government gateway

Originally Posted by jjmb View Post
Good to know. Thanks

How many years did you work in the UK and pay NIC's?
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Old Jul 22nd 2021, 8:25 pm
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Default Re: Women and Pensions plus government gateway

Originally Posted by SanDiegogirl View Post
How many years did you work in the UK and pay NIC's?
Worked full time for about 7 years in total (year before college, summer work and then 6 in civil service) and have about 11 yrs of Child Benefit credits
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Old Jul 22nd 2021, 9:47 pm
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Default Re: Women and Pensions plus government gateway

I think you have until April 2023 to backfill 2006 to 2016, PLUS you can always backfill the prior 6 years. You could therefore backfill up to 16 years. If you already have 18 years credits as posted above, and you backfill back to 2006, and you paid one or two more years going forward (2022 and 2023) then you would qualify for the full state pension. If you have to pay the Class 3 rate that will cost you quite a hefty amount, about $1,000 for each year you backfill but that will provision for about 250 pounds a year for every backfilled year, about $350 at current exchange rates rates, every year for the rest of your life, and it is indexed linked. That is probably the best return on investment you will ever get. If you qualify for Class 2 it will only cost about $200 for each year you backfill. Class 3 rates are a good deal, Class 2 rates are the deal of the century.

Last edited by Glasgow Girl; Jul 22nd 2021 at 9:54 pm.
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Old Jul 22nd 2021, 11:07 pm
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Default Re: Women and Pensions plus government gateway

Originally Posted by Glasgow Girl View Post
I think you have until April 2023 to backfill 2006 to 2016, PLUS you can always backfill the prior 6 years. You could therefore backfill up to 16 years. If you already have 18 years credits as posted above, and you backfill back to 2006, and you paid one or two more years going forward (2022 and 2023) then you would qualify for the full state pension. If you have to pay the Class 3 rate that will cost you quite a hefty amount, about $1,000 for each year you backfill but that will provision for about 250 pounds a year for every backfilled year, about $350 at current exchange rates rates, every year for the rest of your life, and it is indexed linked. That is probably the best return on investment you will ever get. If you qualify for Class 2 it will only cost about $200 for each year you backfill. Class 3 rates are a good deal, Class 2 rates are the deal of the century.
thanks for the info.
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Old Aug 2nd 2021, 5:01 pm
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Default Re: Women and Pensions plus government gateway

Originally Posted by tht View Post
$90 is 50+ hours on the phone even using a more expensive provider like skype… were you calling a premium line? I called:+44 191 203 7010

HMRC specifies has a non “local rate” normal landline number to call to save expensive call rates:

https://www.gov.uk/government/organi...n-uk-residents
Tried that number and was redirected to another number. Been waiting for 10 mins now. Might give up.
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Old Aug 2nd 2021, 5:19 pm
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Default Re: Women and Pensions plus government gateway

Originally Posted by jjmb View Post
Tried that number and was redirected to another number. Been waiting for 10 mins now. Might give up.
if you give up after 10 mins you are never going to get anything with a government entity done… I have had calls on hold for 1h plus for an IRS department … I found calling very early in the morning worked better in the US at-least.
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Old Aug 2nd 2021, 6:06 pm
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Default Re: Women and Pensions plus government gateway

Trying a web line chat now but there is no way of knowing how long you will be waiting for as they put up this paragraph: All of our advisers are currently busy. When an adviser is available, a link saying ‘speak to an adviser’ will appear.

You do not need to keep refreshing the page, it will automatically update with a link

No indication on how long you have to wait.


Now I have filled in a form to see if I can get help this way. The number given to me by the only person I spoke to (on the number recommended by Tht) cost me $69 for no answer.
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Old Aug 2nd 2021, 6:36 pm
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Default Re: Women and Pensions plus government gateway

Originally Posted by jjmb View Post
Trying a web line chat now but there is no way of knowing how long you will be waiting for as they put up this paragraph: All of our advisers are currently busy. When an adviser is available, a link saying ‘speak to an adviser’ will appear.

You do not need to keep refreshing the page, it will automatically update with a link

No indication on how long you have to wait.


Now I have filled in a form to see if I can get help this way. The number given to me by the only person I spoke to (on the number recommended by Tht) cost me $69 for no answer.
what are you calling from? A landline / cellphone ? You should not pay more than $0.03 a min maximum with skype, or any other VOIP provider…
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