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Retiring in the UK? A Cautionary Tale
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jm2505



Joined: 20 Jun 2009
Posts: 35

PostPosted: Sun Sep 01, 2013 3:07 pm    Post subject: Retiring in the UK? A Cautionary Tale Reply with quote

This is a cautionary tale for those of you who think you will never return to the UK/don’t pay your NI etc/think you are immune to old age…

A few weeks ago, at the age of 54, I returned from Malaysia. My intention was to stay in the UK, do my MA, then return – I was even looking at living/teaching long term in Malaysia. Now, I am stuck in the UK as I can no longer fly.

It took 15 minutes for my life to take a drastic turn. As I was getting off the plane in the UK I had a stroke.

Firstly, why am I happy to be back in the UK? Well the NHS in fact saved my life & pretty much got me back to normal – very quickly. I’ve lived in enough countries to know I would not have got the support needed elsewhere! (& that includes much needed family support).

Secondly, the downside. I had to apply for benefits, due to not working, yet despite keeping my NI payments up to date, I faced the nightmare of completing a Habitual Residence Test (because I have worked away a lot in the last 8 years the DWP decided I was no longer a UK resident - even though I have always maintained a flat here in the UK). Only after the intervention of my MP did the DWP agree to pay up.

In conclusion, from what I have seen since being home is..., I am convinced that successive governments are going to come down harder and harder on any British person who works abroad & especially those who do not keep up their NI payments if they return. So, be warned, if you expect to work abroad for a while, and then retire in the UK, don’t expect it will be plain sailing.
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slapntickle



Joined: 07 Sep 2010
Posts: 269

PostPosted: Sun Sep 01, 2013 3:25 pm    Post subject: Re: Retiring in the UK? A Cautionary Tale Reply with quote

jm2505 wrote:
In conclusion, from what I have seen since being home is..., I am convinced that successive governments are going to come down harder and harder on any British person who works abroad & especially those who do not keep up their NI payments if they return. So, be warned, if you expect to work abroad for a while, and then retire in the UK, don’t expect it will be plain sailing.


Great post and a very relevant one for many teflers who are hitting the big 50. Like you, I've been overseas for many years and ignoring to pay my NI contributions. I've been back in the UK for a few years but I'm planning to take off again soon for good. When I get back overseas I'll be sure to continue paying my NI contributions until I reach the ripe old age of 66. The state pension is £110.15 per week at the moment. Because I've been away for so long, I don't think I'd get the full pension. I know that the government will bump up your pension if you fall short, but who knows how long that will last? And with prices rising around us all the time it makes one wonder how people will actually be able to survive in the UK.

Here's a link to more info on pensions:

https://www.gov.uk/state-pension/overview
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scot47



Joined: 10 Jan 2003
Posts: 15329

PostPosted: Fri Sep 13, 2013 9:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I too fell foul if the HRT but in my case they merely disbarred me for a month. After that I got full benefits.
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Wilsonthefarmer



Joined: 13 Nov 2012
Posts: 152
Location: Riding my black horse

PostPosted: Sat Sep 21, 2013 7:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

scot47 wrote:
I too fell foul if the HRT but in my case they merely disbarred me for a month. After that I got full benefits.

scotty, do you get housing benefit?
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scot47



Joined: 10 Jan 2003
Posts: 15329

PostPosted: Mon Sep 23, 2013 9:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Who wants to know ? Gentlemen do not discuss finances, football or sexual preferences.
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sprightly



Joined: 07 May 2003
Posts: 136
Location: England

PostPosted: Sun Oct 27, 2013 5:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

thanks for this.
i was out for 9 months this year, so sent off my form for NI, and in a mere 18 months, should hear something!

it's all rather annoying, determining residency. the tax people use one definition, the UKBA another--and it's the ukba people i need to impress in the next few months!
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JRJohn



Joined: 21 Jun 2006
Posts: 175

PostPosted: Thu Sep 11, 2014 3:28 pm    Post subject: Can You Advise Me? Reply with quote

I'm 45, and waking up to the reality of N.I. contributions now. Over the last 12 years, I've spent periods abroad, teaching English in various countries. What was the initial reason? Well, I spent a year looking for work after graduation in 2000, and it was nearly impossible to get a job. I suspect, that had I left Scotland, and gone to London, I would have found work there. However, I could not afford that. So I went to Spain to teach English. Since then, it's been complicated. I have been in and out of the U.K. a lot, I've worked in the U.K. paid contributions for part of the time, I've taught abroad, and I've been on the dole.
I decided to start keeping my contributions up to date, and there's the problem. What if the govt. won't let me pay?
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sprightly



Joined: 07 May 2003
Posts: 136
Location: England

PostPosted: Thu Sep 11, 2014 7:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

well, i'm still waiting to hear back from the ni people--but then there is still 7 months left on their timeline. which is annoying, because i'll need to do the same this for this calender year as well. and also i worked part time and didn't realise that my employer wasn't making all hte deductions, so i have to go back and sort those out, a year late.

part of me thinks i should relax, as i do have savings in two different countries for my pension. and i'll likely work into my 70s--we're lucky in our profession that this is possible.

but i'm still scoping out countries where an oldie can live happily in a cardboard box.
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scot47



Joined: 10 Jan 2003
Posts: 15329

PostPosted: Fri Sep 12, 2014 6:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I offer free advice to those who wish to retire to genteel poverty on a Scottish island. No consultancy fee payable.
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sprightly



Joined: 07 May 2003
Posts: 136
Location: England

PostPosted: Sat Sep 13, 2014 3:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

i've been on a scottish island.
they are not cardboard box friendly.
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Capt Lugwash



Joined: 14 Aug 2014
Posts: 346

PostPosted: Sat Sep 13, 2014 7:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The requirement for full pension rights in the UK is currently 30 years of contributions.

As for rights to other things, God only knows but perhaps asking an immigrant on benefits may prove useful.
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sprightly



Joined: 07 May 2003
Posts: 136
Location: England

PostPosted: Sat Sep 13, 2014 11:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

it is very difficult for non-EU immigrants to get benefits, it's written in our our visas. refugees/asylum seekers are a different group, and good luck surviving on their benefits.

(also, all benefits paid annually in the uk have lesser value than the amount of unpaid corporate tax)

requirement for basic pension is 10 yrs contribution. i'm so close!
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PC Parrot



Joined: 11 Dec 2009
Posts: 459
Location: Moral Police Station

PostPosted: Sun Sep 14, 2014 2:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You yourself probably know this, but others may not ...

The 10 year requirement you mention is to entitle you to claim something. It doesn't entitle you to a full basic pension. It entitles you to 10/30 of a basic pension.

This is soon to become 10/35 of a pension as the number of contributing years is due to rise.


Last edited by PC Parrot on Wed Sep 17, 2014 2:38 am; edited 1 time in total
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sprightly



Joined: 07 May 2003
Posts: 136
Location: England

PostPosted: Wed Sep 17, 2014 12:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

i'll take what i can get.
i have a couple of private pensions, but will need a little more.
by the time i retire i may well have a passport, which should entitle me to take my fuel tax credit and move to spain.
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adaruby



Joined: 21 Apr 2014
Posts: 171
Location: has served on a hiring committee

PostPosted: Fri Sep 19, 2014 12:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

sprightly wrote:


requirement for basic pension is 10 yrs contribution. i'm so close!


Just realised that I paid 10 and a half years continuously when I was younger, which should entitle me to the price of a twix and a packet of monster munch!

I have no plans to retire in the UK though, so I guess there's no real point in me adding to this.

How does your time away affect treatment on the NHS though?
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