UK State Pension Voluntary contributions

The UK State Pension whilst working overseas

For British Global Citizens the UK state pension can provide a guaranteed income component to an overall retirement strategy.

To be eligible to receive the full state pension of GBP 164.35 per week, you need to have made 35 years of national insurance contributions during your working life.

For most people the UK state pension will start to become payable between ages 66-68 depending on when you are born.

Whilst working overseas Class 3 National Insurance contributions (i.e. voluntary contributions) can be made to ‘buy back’ any years where an individual has not made UK national insurance contributions through not being employed in the UK.

The current cost to buy back a missed year is GBP 761 (GBP 14.65 per week).

As a starting point it is important to clarify how many years of National insurance contributions you have made. This information can be accessed through the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/check-state-pension

You will need your National Insurance number and passport details to register and it takes around 10 minutes.

This will confirm how many years of contributions you have made and the current level of state pension benefits that you are likely to receive.

Under the current rules, having contributed for 35 years is the most efficient way to maximise the state pension. If it is looking like you are going to be below 35 years, then it is possible to buy back years for up to 7 years.

Assuming these pension rules remain the same, based on normal life expectancy rates, it makes mathematical sense to ensure that you have made the 35 years of contributions maximizing the pension that will be received.