British expats and maintaining your national insurance contributions
March 10, 2015
By Jessica Cook
Client’s often ask me what is the process for maintaining National Insurance contributions whilst living abroad. It is important that British expats understand the rules in relation to their eligibility to the state pension.
The purpose of paying Voluntary National Insurance contributions is to secure entitlement to various UK National Insurance benefits like the basic State Pension. It has agreements with Reciprocal Agreement Countries and European Economic Area (EEA) regarding special benefits.
Living abroad and not paying UK National Insurance Contributions (NICs) may restrict your access to these benefits – not only now, but also in the future. If you continue paying UK National Insurance while living abroad, you may protect your entitlement to the following:
A full State Pension.Particular state benefits in EEA (European Economic Area) as well as some reciprocal agreement countries.
New rules are coming into play from next year, which mean individuals now have to pay National Insurance for more years than originally stipulated, in order to get a full state pension upon retirement.
The changes come into effect on April 6, 2016, and affect anyone retiring after that date. From this date, rather than needing the previous 30 years of National Insurance (NI) payments to qualify for a full state pension, retirees under the new regime will need a complete 35 years worth of contributions. Those with less than 35 qualifying years but more than the minimum qualifying period will receive a proportionally smaller state pension.
If your total years from the UK and EEA National Insurance exceed 10 years, you will be eligible for the UK State Pension, but the amount will be proportional only to your UK qualifying years.
The idea of the new pension arrangements being introduced is to offer a new and simpler flat-rate pension. This is expected to be worth around £155 a week, and will do away with the other elements that currently make up the state pension, such as the savings credit and additional state pension
It is prudent for British expats to find out how many years of NI contributions they have made to date, therefore allowing them to see how many years they will need to make up to achieve the full 35 years. For detailed information it is best to visit the HMRC website https://www.gov.uk/national-insurance-if-you-go-abroad. Or contact HMRC directly if you have specific questions.
If you need help in finding out your current projection for the UK state pension. Or you are looking to make additional contributions as an expat – contct me today
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has become a popular destination for expatriates seeking new opportunities and a vibrant lifestyle. However, when it comes to matters of succession and inheritance, ex-pats residing in the UAE need to be aware of the unique legal framework in place.
Published On: April 18, 2023|2.7 min read|
The Removal of the Lifetime Allowance Limit. What does it mean for my Pension?
In the Spring Budget of 2023, Chancellor of the Exchequer announced the removal of the Lifetime Allowance (LTA) for pension contributions. This decision has sparked a lot of controversy and debate, as it has significant implications for pension savers in the UK.
Published On: November 18, 2022|3.4 min read|
Have you exceeded the Lifetime Allowance?
Should you continue to make pension contributions?
With steady decreases in the value of the LTA over time. More and more individuals are finding themselves in excess of the lifetime allowance prior to their planned retirement.
Get our latest financial blogs and articles straight to you inbox.
In partnership with
The information in this material is intended for the recipient’s background information and use only. It is provided in good faith and without any warranty or, representation as to accuracy or completeness. Information and opinions presented in this material have been obtained or derived from sources believed by AES to be reliable and AES has reasonable grounds to believe that all factual information herein is true as at the date of issue. It does not constitute investment advice, recommendation, or an offer of any services or products for sale and is not intended to provide a sufficient basis on which to make an investment decision. It is the responsibility of any persons wishing to make a purchase to inform themselves of and observe all applicable laws and regulations. Unauthorised reproduction or transmitting of this material is strictly prohibited. AES accepts no responsibility for loss arising from the use of the information contained herein.
‘AES’ refers to the AES Group’s separate but affiliated entities generally, rather than to one particular entity. These entities are AES Middle East Insurance Broker LLC registered with the UAE Ministry of Economy, United Arab Emirates, Licence no. 571368, and Commercial Registration no. 75162 and regulated by the UAE Central Bank license no. 189; AES Financial Services Limited, incorporated and registered in England and Wales with company number 06063185, authorised and regulated by the UK Financial Conduct Authority FRN: 464494; AES Financial Services (DIFC) Ltd, registered in the Dubai Financial Centre (DIFC) as a foreign company, license no.2128, and regulated by the Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) Reference No F003476; AES International Limited, a private company incorporated and registered in the British Virgin Islands with company number 1839872; AES International Global Limited, a private company incorporated and registered in the British Virgin Islands with company number 1887885. Please visit our authorisations page for further information on regulation, redress and accessibility.
If you are outside the UK and we advise you or carry out other business, nearly all the rules, regulations and arrangements made under the UK regulatory regime (including the rules made by the FCA and the dispute resolution process provided by the UK Financial Ombudsman Service) will not apply to most aspects of the service you receive, such advice or business being provided from outside the UK. You should therefore clearly understand such rights and protection as are afforded in the jurisdiction where you receive advice. Local law, regulation and redress processes will apply in almost all cases, and will be different from that of the UK.
Investments involve risks. The investment return and principal value of an investment may fluctuate so that an investment, when redeemed, may be worth more or less than the capital invested. Past performance is not a guarantee of future results. There is no guarantee strategies will be successful. For further information, please click here.