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Travellers' questions that don't fit anywhere else This is an opportunity to ask any question, and post any notice you wish that doesn't fit into one of the other sections.
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  #1  
Old 19 Jan 2012
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UK-Paying National Insurance contributions whilst away?

Hello

Please can anyone enlighten me on the pros and cons of paying NI contributions whilst away?

I have a dodgy back/chronic pain condition, and if it goes bad whilst away there is a chance I might have to limp home and recover.

I am defiantly hoping to be away for a year, and then after that get up to two years each in Oz and NZ on a work visa, so i'm sure tax things suchlike are different whilst working in NZ and Oz.

?

Thanks

Fern
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  #2  
Old 19 Jan 2012
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ask them close to the end of each financial year ( apr 5) how much they want to keep you fully up to date. not paying enough in any one year can disqualify your pension contribution for that year and also sick pay or unemployment pay for more than one ( they select a "qualifying year").

It may well be worth paying an accountant to do this for you.
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  #3  
Old 19 Jan 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fern View Post
Hello

Please can anyone enlighten me on the pros and cons of paying NI contributions whilst away?

I have a dodgy back/chronic pain condition, and if it goes bad whilst away there is a chance I might have to limp home and recover.

I am defiantly hoping to be away for a year, and then after that get up to two years each in Oz and NZ on a work visa, so i'm sure tax things suchlike are different whilst working in NZ and Oz.

?

Thanks

Fern
It's simple, but not so simple, depending on your own personal, detailed circumstances which are not given here by you (and are kept in your NI records).
In short, if you pay them then you keep a continuous record and thereby add to your overall years of making such contributions; this counts towards your OAP pension and has nothing to do with falling ill.
If you are ill and get yourself back to the UK then the NHS will deal with that irrespective of your NI contributions.

The not so simple bit is that the rules tend to change over the years surprise surprise, so it is a bit of a gamble on the future in any case!!

Hope this helps, but you really should get advice from the NI folks about your own personal status in accord with their current records.
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Last edited by Walkabout; 19 Jan 2012 at 22:27. Reason: spelling
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  #4  
Old 22 Jan 2012
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As I understand it they changed the rules a while ago so that you only need to pay in 30 years total to get full benefits. So depending on your previous and future payments it's a lot easier to have a break in the middle.
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  #5  
Old 22 Jan 2012
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Fairly spot-on advice (above) so far Fern.

Also worth mentioning that both Aus and NZ have reciprocal healthcare arrangements in place with our NHS system.

[First hand experience]: Back in April 2007, following an m/c accident, I received some superb treatment, inc full anaesthetic surgery and four nights inpatient accommodation down in Invercargill NZ. Plus great follow-up outpatient care. All abolutely free of charge, just because I'm a Brit ..

I wouldn't let this worthwhile perk stop you from effecting private travel insurance on top though.

Just my 2p's worth.

Cheers

KEITH
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  #6  
Old 22 Jan 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Walkabout View Post
I
In short, if you pay them then you keep a continuous record and thereby add to your overall years of making such contributions; this counts towards your OAP pension and has nothing to do with falling ill.
If you are ill and get yourself back to the UK then the NHS will deal with that irrespective of your NI contributions.

.
Walkabout, The NHS will be ok, but if you fall ill you may not qualify for sickness benefit ( and other things) It happened to me.

I had a car crash ( not my fault) but had to wait a year for sick pay etc until my NI payment "qualifying year" came to a paid up year.
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  #7  
Old 23 Jan 2012
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Originally Posted by oldbmw View Post
Walkabout, The NHS will be ok, but if you fall ill you may not qualify for sickness benefit ( and other things) It happened to me.

I had a car crash ( not my fault) but had to wait a year for sick pay etc until my NI payment "qualifying year" came to a paid up year.
Not something that has happened to me (but I have had the car crash aspect), so I take this case study as reinforcing my point that each and every individual needs to take up their own situation with the NI authorities.

In summary, we are all individuals with unique circumstances, as of now, & the optimum solution for making a decision depends on all of:
1. Past contribution record
2. Current regulations, which are almost certainly going to change in the future.
3. What the individual has planned; Fern is talking about being out of the UK for up to 5 years.

I conclude that it is not even a one-off decision, as earlier posts have said, but something that should be reviewed regularly and the end of the financial year is a good time to do that.
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  #8  
Old 23 Jan 2012
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30, 35 years? I don't know

Quote:
Originally Posted by Flyingdoctor View Post
As I understand it they changed the rules a while ago so that you only need to pay in 30 years total to get full benefits. So depending on your previous and future payments it's a lot easier to have a break in the middle.

Correct in principle although I can't remember how many years became the new maximum; I did think it was 35 years before I read this post, so best to check the current regulations with those who do this for a living - the NI folks!
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  #9  
Old 23 Jan 2012
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How many qualifying years do you need?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Walkabout View Post
Correct in principle although I can't remember how many years became the new maximum; I did think it was 35 years before I read this post, so best to check the current regulations with those who do this for a living - the NI folks!
The number of qualifying years you need for a full basic State Pension depends on your age and whether you're a man or a woman.
  • Men born before 6 April 1945 usually need 44 qualifying years.
  • Women born before 6 April 1950 usually need 39 qualifying years.
  • Men born on or after 6 April 1945 need 30 qualifying years.
  • Women born on or after 6 April 1950 need 30 qualifying years.
Source: Directgov


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  #10  
Old 23 Jan 2012
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I'm 28 years old, so not to worried about state pension, I can always top the gap up for that later in life, and at this rate i'm going to have to work til i'm 70-80 anyways!

More concerned about the whole benefits if something bad happens to me in the meantime.

As per other recent threads, there is no way i'd come back and hope to go on the dole, i've always worked, whether it be in a supermarket, packing boxes, you name it. Just worried about coming home injured or sick (higher probability for me because of current health issues) and becoming a major burden on my parents (who wouldn't see me homeless but have only just got rid of me, and have another daughter to go!).
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