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samt4

Been in Oz 8 months and struggling - advice please!

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42 minutes ago, Johnny Kash said:

Id be interested to know if that is six years at a time, i.e. can you top up 6 years, then 6 years down the line top up another 6??

I guess for those expats who left UK at an early age and have been out of the country for that long then it might be difficult to 'catch up' as it were, especially if you weren't aware of the chance to still contribute from overseas.

I imagine you could do that, but then you'd be more likely to top up 6 years, then voluntarily pay contributions from that point on - safer than waiting, just in case the rules change before the next time you want to top up!  

I'm a good example of what you mean. I left the UK in my thirties.   I didn't know about voluntary contributions, and I don't think I'm unusual in that - I just assumed that I'd left the UK and therefore the door was closed. By the time I found out in my sixties, I could only backpay six years, so I don't even get half of the UK pension.

At the time we were considering a move to the UK.  We didn't really need the government pension:  we both have superannuation and could take an income stream, but while that's tax-free in Australia, it would be taxed as income in the UK.  We were old enough that we could've cashed in our super and moved it over as a lump sum, but there is limited scope to invest that tax-free in the UK, so we'd still have ended up paying more tax than if we stayed in Australia.   

In summary, we'd have ended up with less income from our superannuation in the UK than we would get in Australia. That might not have been a deal-breaker, but the bigger problem  with superannuation is that it's a finite pot of money - there's a risk it will run out before you do, and if that happens, you need a safety net.  In Australia, we'd both get the full Australian pension if we ran into trouble. In the UK, my OH would get nothing and I'd get less than half the UK pension. 

Based on various projections, we're likely to run out of superannuation in our 80's somewhere (and we don't own a home).  Of course we might be dead by then, but what if we're not?   We didn't fancy having to up sticks and return to Australia in very old age.  Luckily, I find I prefer living in Australia anyway (though my oh always says he'd move to the UK as soon as he wins Lotto...).

Edited by Marisawright

Scot by birth, emigrated 1985 | Aussie husband applied UK spouse visa Jan 2015, granted March 2015, moved to UK May 2015 | Returned to Oz June 2016

"The stranger who comes home does not make himself at home but makes home itself strange." -- Rainer Maria Rilke

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47 minutes ago, Marisawright said:

I imagine you could do that, but then you'd be more likely to top up 6 years, then voluntarily pay contributions from that point on - safer than waiting, just in case the rules change before the next time you want to top up!  

 

this is a good point.    at the moment you can still pay the cheaper class 2 contributions (approx. GBP150 per year of NI conts, which is a bargain) but my understanding is you need to have been working in the UK prior to those 6 years.

The govt were going to axe this but then made a U-turn.  For how long is unclear. 

I only found out about this in the last year or so and for the first 5 years after leaving UK didn't know you could top up NI contributions at all, at either class 2 or 3.   Class 3 costs around GBP700 per year.

Of course the gamble is if the UK state pension becomes means tested at some point (similar to aussie) so in theory you could make all these topups and its wasted money in some circumstances.  Good luck to whatever government tries to get that through anyway 😉

 

 

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3 hours ago, Johnny Kash said:

this is a good point.    at the moment you can still pay the cheaper class 2 contributions (approx. GBP150 per year of NI conts, which is a bargain) but my understanding is you need to have been working in the UK prior to those 6 years.

The govt were going to axe this but then made a U-turn.  For how long is unclear. 

I only found out about this in the last year or so and for the first 5 years after leaving UK didn't know you could top up NI contributions at all, at either class 2 or 3.   Class 3 costs around GBP700 per year.

Of course the gamble is if the UK state pension becomes means tested at some point (similar to aussie) so in theory you could make all these topups and its wasted money in some circumstances.  Good luck to whatever government tries to get that through anyway 😉

 

 

I think you can only pay class 2 if you are working in Aus. I have a chequered work history in Aus, so may or may not be eligible - probably need to work so much of a UK tax year.

Unfortunately, you have to download a form fill it out and post it ! And yes, I have registered on gov.uk etc with a log in. I even called up HMRC to check for other ways.

The form is pretty basic, you fill out to pay from abroad and tick a box for previous years. I have no doubt there will not be enough info for them. Worry is, as I have ticked the box, they will take out Class 3 which I don't want to do.

Also, not sure whether to declare as non-resident yet. Been here a few years, but use in-laws UK address. I am just about to retire at 60, so not sure of best way to do it, as things change once you are non-resident (yes I know it depends on days / year in UK)

Probably will get some advice in the near future (eg Andrew on this site)

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2 minutes ago, davlap said:

 

Also, not sure whether to declare as non-resident yet. Been here a few years, but use in-laws UK address. I am just about to retire at 60, so not sure of best way to do it, as things change once you are non-resident 

It’s not a matter If declaring that you’re resident or not, you don’t get to choose.  If you’re not resident in the UK for at least six months of the tax year, you’re a non resident. Using someone else’s address to look as though you reside there is illegal.


Scot by birth, emigrated 1985 | Aussie husband applied UK spouse visa Jan 2015, granted March 2015, moved to UK May 2015 | Returned to Oz June 2016

"The stranger who comes home does not make himself at home but makes home itself strange." -- Rainer Maria Rilke

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Aside from NI contributions, Is there still, I don't even know what it's called from memory, but back then mum used to pay into like a Private thing pretty sure it was called Prudential? I guess it was sort of like super, but not called that.  Private pension scheme? Is that a thing? Or am I remembering wrong? 

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46 minutes ago, Vickie78 said:

Aside from NI contributions, Is there still, I don't even know what it's called from memory, but back then mum used to pay into like a Private thing pretty sure it was called Prudential? I guess it was sort of like super, but not called that.  Private pension scheme? Is that a thing? Or am I remembering wrong? 

You can still contribute from abroad towards a SIPP (self invested personal pension) for up to 5 years after leaving the UK.   As youre not earning GBP youd be limited to a max of 2880 (3600 gross) per year but would still get tax relief on this, so well worth doing if youre planning on returning.

With regard to opening a SIPP, Im pretty sure you would have to do this while still a UK resident though as I don't think you can open one from overseas.

Same with ISAs, assuming you open one in the UK that cash or investment can sit there until you return and hopefully grow tax free.   You can still contribute to the ISA in the tax year you leave the country but after that no more contributions permitted. 

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On 09/12/2019 at 07:40, Chortlepuss said:

Some great advice here especially re: waiting till you’re settled to have kids. I’d be tempted to give it a little more time but beware that you could get yourself into a tricky situation. I came over to Brisbane in my 40’s over 12 years ago. If you’re used to the vibrancy of British cities it is very dull, albeit improving. My kids were young and personally I think if you have a young family, and are not so into the social side of things you can make it work. The flora and fauna are fantastic but like you, I find it wearing to drive for hours to get anywhere decent. My kids are grown up now and have had fabulous opportunities here (one is a nurse and about to buy her own house aged 25!).  I now feel stuck. I have had a great time but never stopped missing the British countryside, European travel, the weather (!) that enables you to be outside most days of the year with correct clothing. I have met a lot of nice people here through work and activities but no close friends. If I retire here, it is likely to be just me and my husband and we get on well thankfully but I miss our friends and family and the company of others.
I am so tired now of the heat and the climate has changed notably even in a decade here. I find solace in my trips home and the prospect of spending at least  part of my retirement back home. If I was alone and child free I’d be on the plane tomorrow, grateful for the experience but excited about moving on with my life! Sorry to ramble - but you need to completely enthusiastic about making it work in Australia before you commit completely - and I suspect that moving your partner over with you to the UK may not be the best outcome for him. 

Gosh, this is EXACTLY how I feel!! 

 

 

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23 hours ago, Johnny Kash said:

You can still contribute from abroad towards a SIPP (self invested personal pension) for up to 5 years after leaving the UK.   As youre not earning GBP youd be limited to a max of 2880 (3600 gross) per year but would still get tax relief on this, so well worth doing if youre planning on returning.

With regard to opening a SIPP, Im pretty sure you would have to do this while still a UK resident though as I don't think you can open one from overseas.

Same with ISAs, assuming you open one in the UK that cash or investment can sit there until you return and hopefully grow tax free.   You can still contribute to the ISA in the tax year you leave the country but after that no more contributions permitted. 

Ah nice, good to know. Thank you 🙂 

Ooo just saw you can open kids versions of ISA's, that's good! 

Oh nevermind that's for army folk etc .. DOH! 

Edited by Vickie78

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