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Is My Uk Pension In Jeopardy Living In Phuket?


Syl

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Is My UK Pension In Jeopardy Living In Phuket?

I am a young, uneducated 48 year old, who was informed by a long term resident 71 year old expat, that staying in Phuket/ Thailand/ LOG, for more then two years would ruin my government UK pension on retirement.

Searching the Internet has drawn a blank. I know this thread might not seem to be about Phuket, but I was told about this in Phuket!!!

So before I start worrying about it too much and lose even more hair, I thought I would ask this forum first ?

Syl.

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Are you still paying money into the UK social security scheme ? You'll need to do that to preserve the full government pension at 65 years old. I know a number of UK guys (over 65) living here in Thailand who have their gov pension paid into their UK bank. Whether that's legal, or not ... I don't know.

Just had a thought, maybe you have paid enough years into the UK system (is it 25 years ?? Ahhh Stu/Chris answered, it's 35 years) to guarantee you a full UK gov pension at 65, without any more payments.

Edited by LivinginKata
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Hi Syl,

As a fifty year old retiree I made enquiries about this.

To qualify for a full pension you have to have contributed 35 years national insurance, there are exemptions, [student, mother etc] they can be taken into account, so if you were a student for five years you would have accrued 5 years NI.

If you can't make the thirty five then you get a pro rata payment, [17 1/2 would be half pay etc].

Keep a UK bank account, don't declare yourself as non resident in the UK and you are ok.

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Tax man has no bearing on NI. Ni is deducted before income tax.

Best thing to do is apply for a pensions forecast from your regional office, this is free and can be delivered anywhere. It will tell you where you are and what you could expect to get on retirement age. {less inflation etc, they aren't mind readers}, you can always buy "stamps" to boost your entitlement. Not sure but I think you can do this online. You don't have to pay it until the day before your 65th birthday.

I owe 2,000 to get a full pension but i will wait 14 years 364 days to see if I make it that far first!

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Tax man has no bearing on NI. Ni is deducted before income tax.

Best thing to do is apply for a pensions forecast from your regional office, this is free and can be delivered anywhere. It will tell you where you are and what you could expect to get on retirement age. {less inflation etc, they aren't mind readers}, you can always buy "stamps" to boost your entitlement. Not sure but I think you can do this online. You don't have to pay it until the day before your 65th birthday.

I owe 2,000 to get a full pension but i will wait 14 years 364 days to see if I make it that far first!

Great stuff....My hair is starting to grow back already!!! :o

Syl.

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Thank you both for your advise. I am already five years behind on my national insurance contributions. Thing is, the tax man might ask what I have been doing these last few years!!! :o

Syl.

I'm 23 years behind, but I'm still going to claim on the 16 years I paid UK contributions, ... when I'm 65. Wonder what ever happened to the UK graduated pension scheme we were all forced to pay into many many years ago. I guess the money I paid in (was deducted from my pay) will get me nothing ....

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To qualify for a full UK State Pension you need 30 years of contributions. Any less than that and it will be reduced.

When you start to receive it . It will be frozen at that rate and will never be increased because you live in Thailand.

Your age when you are elligible for a state pension is being increased so the OP may have to wait until he is around 66. Info. here.

The Pension Service

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:o I think that they reduced the number of years that you have to pay NI to get a full pension from 44 Years to 30 Years :D

So if i was you i would make sure that you have paid the 30 Years and sit back and wait to collect the large amount that they pay.

You may even get the heating allowence as i believe in another post a OAP stated he recieved it :D

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you can always buy "stamps" to boost your entitlement. Not sure but I think you can do this online. You don't have to pay it until the day before your 65th birthday.

That's very interesting to know. Might look into that and see if it's a worthwhile gamble of a one time payment vs how long I might live & recoup. Off to Google NHS and see if I can find a link.

Ooops , Lite Beer just posted it ... thanks

Edited by LivinginKata
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Hi Syl,

As a fifty year old retiree I made enquiries about this.

To qualify for a full pension you have to have contributed 35 years national insurance, there are exemptions, [student, mother etc] they can be taken into account, so if you were a student for five years you would have accrued 5 years NI.

If you can't make the thirty five then you get a pro rata payment, [17 1/2 would be half pay etc].

Keep a UK bank account, don't declare yourself as non resident in the UK and you are ok.

Seems like a lot of misinformation in this post.

For a full pension you now only need 30 contributing years. If you don't have enough years, you can pay for some of the years you have missed. You can also pay on a year by year basis. Having a UK bank account or being declared as non resident has no bearing on any of this. It's only at the time when you come to start claiming your pension that being a non resident will have any effect. It will mean that your pension is frozen and won't increase, unlike UK residents pensions. I wouldn't worry too much about that though as the increases are quite small and most of us won't be lucky enough to be claiming for that many years for it to make much difference.

Get in touch with The Pension Service and take it from there. Just be honest with them - you don't need to hide anything about your circumstances.

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To qualify for a full UK State Pension you need 30 years of contributions. Any less than that and it will be reduced.

When you start to receive it . It will be frozen at that rate and will never be increased because you live in Thailand.

Your age when you are elligible for a state pension is being increased so the OP may have to wait until he is around 66. Info. here.

The Pension Service

Lite Beer, Thank you for your advise & the link. :o

European Economic Area countries only.

Syl.

Edited by Syl
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Hi Syl,

As a fifty year old retiree I made enquiries about this.

To qualify for a full pension you have to have contributed 35 years national insurance, there are exemptions, [student, mother etc] they can be taken into account, so if you were a student for five years you would have accrued 5 years NI.

If you can't make the thirty five then you get a pro rata payment, [17 1/2 would be half pay etc].

Keep a UK bank account, don't declare yourself as non resident in the UK and you are ok.

Seems like a lot of misinformation in this post.

For a full pension you now only need 30 contributing years. If you don't have enough years, you can pay for some of the years you have missed. You can also pay on a year by year basis. Having a UK bank account or being declared as non resident has no bearing on any of this. It's only at the time when you come to start claiming your pension that being a non resident will have any effect. It will mean that your pension is frozen and won't increase, unlike UK residents pensions. I wouldn't worry too much about that though as the increases are quite small and most of us won't be lucky enough to be claiming for that many years for it to make much difference.

Get in touch with The Pension Service and take it from there. Just be honest with them - you don't need to hide anything about your circumstances.

Yes Rixalex is correct... but where I differ with him is about the increases. If inflation takes off and you are still getting the same pension say for 10 years with no increase it wont have anything like the same value after 10 years for sure. We all have made the contributions why are we discriminated against cuz we choose to live abroad? After all we are not a burden to the National Health Service or claiming heating allowances....etc etc..... Seems very unfair to me.

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To qualify for a full UK State Pension you need 30 years of contributions. Any less than that and it will be reduced.

When you start to receive it . It will be frozen at that rate and will never be increased because you live in Thailand.

Your age when you are elligible for a state pension is being increased so the OP may have to wait until he is around 66. Info. here.

The Pension Service

First post who got it bang on right

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I've said this before and i will keep on saying it:

Government after government, whether it was Labour or Tory had been saying that the system in place is unsustainable the way it is (was)

This was with people recieving a full pension based on 44 years contributions.

NOW all that has changed is Gordon Brown waved his magic wand and all will get a full pension after only 30 years contributions!!!

Be afraid, be VERY afraid !!!

Think about how the whole State Pension Scheme is funded. We have been paying for our parents generation to recieve a pension, like they did for their parents generation, etc, etc, for as long as the scheme has been in operation.

In other words, it only works if an ever increasing ammount of people are paying into it, so that, when we take it out there is still anything to take out.

Whats happening NOW is an ever DECREASING ammount of people are paying in, relative to the ammount of people taking out and, also, due to the downward pressure on wages will be paying in less each person.

Like has also been said, the pension is frozen at the rate it was at the time you left the country.

In any case, for a single person its a meagre £90-95 a week, so i hope you have made "other arranfgements" on top......even if you DO qualify for the "full ammount"

Penkoprod

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You may even get the heating allowence as i believe in another post a OAP stated he recieved it :o

That will not be payed if they know you live in Thailand. The same as you will not get the annual increase.

If you live in Thailand and don't let them know they will demand it all refunded if they find out. This will then be deducted from future pension payments.

Quite how well they check up on you is anyones guess.

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You may even get the heating allowence as i believe in another post a OAP stated he recieved it :o

That will not be payed if they know you live in Thailand. The same as you will not get the annual increase.

If you live in Thailand and don't let them know they will demand it all refunded if they find out. This will then be deducted from future pension payments.

Quite how well they check up on you is anyones guess.

Yes it's all true. The moral of the story is, "dont burn your bridges"

1. If you can afford to, pay the 'stamps' to keep up your payments. If you declare no income, then you pay the basic stamp ammount, cant remember how much but it isnt much.

2. Dont burn your bridges. Keep a UK bank account. Your pension will be paid into it - no questions asked. The trouble with this is that if you permenantly live elsewhere, you could win/lose according to the rate of exchange when you take your pension out. (e.g. its now about 50 baht to the pound instead of 60 or even 68)

3. Be honest with the UK Pension people if you are behind. They deal with pensions and wont throw your name out to other departments like the tax people etc. I found the pension people to be very helpful indeed. The actually DO appear to want to help you, not hinder you. Most refreshing!

4. Make alternative plans just in case. The rumours about the UK pension scheme being unsustainable have been around for years. I remember hearing about it when i was a kid during the baby boomer years..........yet the weekly pensions have just been increased. Whether the pension system can continue to afford it or not is irrelevant, fact is, the UK is still relatively rich and i would seriously doubt that it would just stop or curtail pensions now or in the near future. The govt will just have to top the funds up from elsewhere. Can you imagine the outcry.........The Uk doesnt have the extended family system that Asia has. Many MANY old people choose/have to live alone. The UK government wont just throw them onto the streets. We are a developed nation, not barbarians.

5. If you are none-resident, then your pension is frozen at the level it is on the day you receive it. This was highlighted by war veterans living abroad who saw their pensions fall (due to inflation) year on year. Say nowt, and it will be paid at ever increasing rates into your UK bank account.

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My apologies if I mis-informed anyone but I got a pension forecast after 30 years in the fire service and 3 in the merchant navy, to my maths that is thirty three years and I was told I was two years short, that makes 35 to me.

Might have been misinformed but I have the piece of paper in front of me from the pension people.

Still whats five years between friends!

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Thank you both for your advise. I am already five years behind on my national insurance contributions. Thing is, the tax man might ask what I have been doing these last few years!!! :o

Syl.

I'm 23 years behind, but I'm still going to claim on the 16 years I paid UK contributions, ... when I'm 65. Wonder what ever happened to the UK graduated pension scheme we were all forced to pay into many many years ago. I guess the money I paid in (was deducted from my pay) will get me nothing ....

In your case if you don't pay any more into the system you will get 16 thirtieths of the basic state pension but you can bring this up to date before you are 65 yrs old. You now only require 30 yrs contribution to get the basic state pension.

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Once again people do not read all the facts and distribute misinformation!

Current UK state pension paid at 65 and is based on NI contributions made starting in the tax year you reached 16 for a period of 44 years, anything less is paid pro rata, the current state pension is £90.70 for a single person and £145.05 for a married couple. In addition any payments made under the old graduated pensions and SERPS schemes add to this amount. There are a number of major changes announced in the Pensions Act 2007 and the Pensions Act (Northern Ireland 2008), the major change is that for anyone reaching 65 after 5th April 2010 only 30 years contributions are required to entitle them to a full state pension, anything less than 30 years will be paid pro rata, the old rules re GP & SERPS remain so your pension could be enhanced if you contributed to those schemes. The second major change is that starting in 2024 the retirement age will be gradually increased so by 2042 it will have reached 68. Finally there is a scheme in place whereby a married man can claim for his dependant (wife) who is not yet in receipt of a state pension, this is called ADI or Adult Dependancy Increase and will cease for new claiments from 6th April 2010 and current claiments 6th April 2020, at both these points those affected can if eligable claim for a means tested benefit for their spouse (means tested means showing all assetts) but my guess is that if you are not living in UK you cannot be means tested therefore will not be eligable for this benefit but that is only a guess the system needs to be tested. The area of pensions is complex and differs from individual to individual and as a previous poster suggested the best route is to complete the form BR19 either online or by post to establish where you personally stand, please note that any contributions made over the mandatory years (44/30) do not increase your pension, neither will there be a refund for those that exceed the required payments.

I trust this clarifies the situation for the OP .

http://www.thepensionservice.gov.uk/state-...-will-i-get.asp

Edited by JohnC
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To qualify for a full UK State Pension you need 30 years of contributions. Any less than that and it will be reduced.

When you start to receive it . It will be frozen at that rate and will never be increased because you live in Thailand.

Your age when you are elligible for a state pension is being increased so the OP may have to wait until he is around 66. Info. here.

The Pension Service

First post who got it bang on right

Errrrrrr well much closer, but of course the reduction from 44 to 30 years is from April 2010.

See JohnC post above for really bang on righterer. I'm 60 so I'm in the clear albeit I stopped paying at 58.

My Q is regarding from what point is the pension frozen? It appears to say from the point one permanently moves abroad, rather than the point at which one starts to claim. So if they know you moved abroad i.e. ceased to qualify as a UK resident, at say 58, is it frozen 7 years before? Can someone clarify please? One could return and have it reinstated at current rate and then leave again, but presumably that would involve living there.

Regarding UK residency, whether they know, UK bank a/c , winter heating allowance etc. etc., it does concern me that with bar codes for the past 5 years and RFID chips in all passports by 2010 (they say), it must be getting very easy for govt. agencies to press a few buttons and check UK resident or not - or perhaps it will soon be done automatically for all pensioners? As someone said, they can ask for all overpayments back, or adjust your future pension accordingly. Big brother cometh.

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To qualify for a full UK State Pension you need 30 years of contributions. Any less than that and it will be reduced.

When you start to receive it . It will be frozen at that rate and will never be increased because you live in Thailand.

Your age when you are elligible for a state pension is being increased so the OP may have to wait until he is around 66. Info. here.

The Pension Service

First post who got it bang on right

Errrrrrr well much closer, but of course the reduction from 44 to 30 years is from April 2010.

See JohnC post above for really bang on righterer. I'm 60 so I'm in the clear albeit I stopped paying at 58.

My Q is regarding from what point is the pension frozen? It appears to say from the point one permanently moves abroad, rather than the point at which one starts to claim. So if they know you moved abroad i.e. ceased to qualify as a UK resident, at say 58, is it frozen 7 years before? Can someone clarify please? One could return and have it reinstated at current rate and then leave again, but presumably that would involve living there.

Regarding UK residency, whether they know, UK bank a/c , winter heating allowance etc. etc., it does concern me that with bar codes for the past 5 years and RFID chips in all passports by 2010 (they say), it must be getting very easy for govt. agencies to press a few buttons and check UK resident or not - or perhaps it will soon be done automatically for all pensioners? As someone said, they can ask for all overpayments back, or adjust your future pension accordingly. Big brother cometh.

What you say might become reality sooner then you think!

I know someone that used to live in Phuket while claiming income support in the UK and renting out his council flat to his mate. The council was paying his rent & council tax.

Funny thing was that he was also getting his national insurance contributions paid.

Syl.

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My Q is regarding from what point is the pension frozen? It appears to say from the point one permanently moves abroad, rather than the point at which one starts to claim. So if they know you moved abroad i.e. ceased to qualify as a UK resident, at say 58, is it frozen 7 years before?

No. It's frozen at the time you reach retirement age.

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My Q is regarding from what point is the pension frozen? It appears to say from the point one permanently moves abroad, rather than the point at which one starts to claim. So if they know you moved abroad i.e. ceased to qualify as a UK resident, at say 58, is it frozen 7 years before?

To clarify the question, the payment of state pension rules come into force when the individual submits their claim : If you are living in Thailand when you claim, the pension will be paid at the rate applicable to the year in which you claim and will remain unaltered at that rate with no annual increases. If you are living in the UK you will receive your pension same as above plus the annual increases until you move abroad permanently and inform the pension service you have done so at which point your pension will be frozen. However in both scenarios above if you return to live in the UK permanently, after six months residence you can apply to have your pension re-instated to the current level and will then receive the annual increases, unless of course you again leave permanently when the previous rules will apply.

Permanently in his case is obviously fluid!!

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That will not be payed if they know you live in Thailand. The same as you will not get the annual increase.

If you live in Thailand and don't let them know they will demand it all refunded if they find out. This will then be deducted from future pension payments.

Quite how well they check up on you is anyones guess.

Well check out the latest on the bbc website ! thats how thye will know where you are!

Government plans travel database
The government is compiling a database to track and store the international travel records of millions of Britons.

Computerised records of all 250 million journeys made by individuals in and out of the UK each year will be kept for up to 10 years.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/7877182.stm

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I've just written a cheque to Revenue and Customs (the folks that manage NI contributions and Pensions) for £2,400 and that covers my NI payments from 1996 to 2003 and brings my years of entitlement up from 17 to 24 - over the next six years I will almost certainly back pay the remaining years. At around £335 per year it is excellent value for money that will pay back very quickly, provided I live that long of course!

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I've just written a cheque to Revenue and Customs (the folks that manage NI contributions and Pensions) for £2,400 and that covers my NI payments from 1996 to 2003 and brings my years of entitlement up from 17 to 24 - over the next six years I will almost certainly back pay the remaining years. At around £335 per year it is excellent value for money that will pay back very quickly, provided I live that long of course!

I'm still waiting for a reply from NI office. I have no idea what to expect, but if it's similar to what you paid then I'll definately top up the full 30 years over the next 6+ years.

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