Posted on: 14-04-2021
As an expat, your UK state pension is an important part of your retirement planning. The great news is that expats, despite living and working abroad, are still eligible for their UK state pension – provided they have paid 35 years of National Insurance Contributions (NICs). As an expat, you can get paid your state pension abroad, as well as carry on working.
|How much is the full basic UK state pension?||£134.25|
|What age can I claim?||The current state pension age (in 2020) is 66 years old for men and women. It is scheduled to rise to 67 years old by 2028. Check your personal state pension age here|
|As an expat, am I eligible?||Yes|
|What is the eligibility basis?||35 years of National Insurance Contribution (NIC) payments|
|Can I get paid my pension abroad?||Yes|
|Can I carry on working as an expat at the same time as receiving my state pension?||Yes|
|Do I need to pay NICs as an expat?||Depends on your NIC status. Check yours here|
Yes – providing you have made 35 years of National Insurance Contributions (NIC) payments. Usually, NIC payments are taken at source by the HMRC as part of PAYE. The good news is, that if you have missed a few years in the past, you may be able to make up with voluntary NIC payments. Otherwise, you are destined for a reduced pension.
It is up to you whether you pay NICs as an expat. It depends on whether you want your full state pension of £134.25 per week. If so, you need to make 35 years of NIC payments to qualify. Whether you are abroad or not does not impact this, as – if you are eligible – you will be able to make voluntary NIC payments (if you are eligible) from home or abroad. ⦁ If you want your full UK state pension and you still have years of NICs to pay, then you do need to pay some NICs whilst you are abroad as a UK expat. ⦁ But if you do not want your state pension, or you have paid the requisite years of NIC payments, then no, you do not need to pay NICs as an expat. Use the official UK government websites to: See where you are with your NICs See what UK state pension you are likely to get
You should get a letter two months before your coming of state pension age. This letter will invite you to formally apply for your state pension; you NEED to do this. You will not get your state pension automatically. Of course, as an expat, you might not receive a letter from the UK government because of transnational mail issues. Luckily, if you are within 4 months of your state pension age, you can apply for your UK state pension yourself online, without having received a letter of invitation.