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Kari-dee

Aussie moving to UK permanently with British husband

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My OH moved to Oz 12 years ago for me and we have been married for 10 years. During this time, he has never felt "at home", has felt extremely lonely, has made few friends and found it difficult to get work - a total contrast to his life in the UK. After much discussion and soul searching, I have agreed to move to the UK permanently. I am in my late 50's and my OH is in his mid 50's and although we are moving to the UK, I am absolutely terrified. I don't know if I will fit into life in the UK, or if my OH will be disappointed as life in the UK may be different from what he remembers - so many unknowns. On top of all this, my husband is leaving the organisation up to me and I don't know where to begin - visa for me, removalist (which one?), best way to access my superannuation, transporting car to UK, buying a house, cost of living (do we have enough money?), private health insurance. It is overwhelming! Any information would be greatly appreciated.

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He’s leaving it up to you? Time for a serious talk there. He needs to be involved, or he’ll blame you if it all goes wrong. Been there done that!

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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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2 hours ago, Kari-dee said:

My OH moved to Oz 12 years ago for me and we have been married for 10 years. During this time, he has never felt "at home", has felt extremely lonely, has made few friends and found it difficult to get work - a total contrast to his life in the UK. After much discussion and soul searching, I have agreed to move to the UK permanently. I am in my late 50's and my OH is in his mid 50's and although we are moving to the UK, I am absolutely terrified. I don't know if I will fit into life in the UK, or if my OH will be disappointed as life in the UK may be different from what he remembers - so many unknowns. On top of all this, my husband is leaving the organisation up to me and I don't know where to begin - visa for me, removalist (which one?), best way to access my superannuation, transporting car to UK, buying a house, cost of living (do we have enough money?), private health insurance. It is overwhelming! Any information would be greatly appreciated.

If your other half is from the UK then it should be a lot easier for him to arrange things.

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@Kari-dee, I hope you won't let him off the hook, but here's some information to get you started.

The first thing you need to think about is finances.  It's difficult for Australians to move to the UK in later life because of the pension situation.  It's very likely that you will be financially worse off in your retirement in the UK and that might be a deal-breaker, depending how well-off you and your OH are.

We tried moving to the UK a few years ago but that was one of the reasons we moved back.  One problem is that if you take a pension (income stream) from your super fund in retirement, that's taxed as income (whereas it would be tax-free if we're in Australia).   So your super isn't going to last as long as it would in Oz.  As you probably know, your super fund is just a pot of money, so your pension only lasts while the money lasts - most people's pension runs out before they do, and then you fall back on the Australian govt pension.  It's your safety net.

And there's the big problem - because if you move to the UK now, you can never get the Australian govt pension, and you won't be eligible for the full British pension either (though your OH will, if he backpays the contributions he missed).  

So, you need to look at your finances and see whether you've got enough super and savings that you won't need the Aussie pension in your old age.  

If you will need that safety net, then you need a plan B.  You could move now, and enjoy fifteen or even twenty years in the UK, with a plan to return when you need the pension. However, that will depend on your husband's visa status:  if he's an Australian citizen, there's no problem - but if he's just a permanent resident, then his RRV will run out and he'll lose the right to return to Australia with you.  So you may need to stay in Australia for another year or so, until he gets his citizenship.

 


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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The whole Pension thing for UK citizens confuses me.

For Canadians, from what I have read, my understanding is that there is an agreement between the two countries whereby as long as you work x amount of years, you would qualify for Superannuation (Aus) and Canadian Pension Plan (CPP) and Old Age Security (OAS), no matter which of the two countries you chose to reside in, and recieve all three (I do hope I'm understanding that correctly!!).

I would have assumed that a similar agreement between the UK and Aus would have existed as well, but it sounds like that is not the case, unfortunately.

Edited by Canada2Australia

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Just now, Canada2Australia said:

The whole Pension thing for UK citizens confuses me.

For Canadians, from what I have read, my understanding is that there is an agreement between the two countries whereby as long as you work x amount of years, you would qualify for both Superannuation (Aus) and Canadian Pension Plan (CPP) and Old Age Security (OAS), no matter which of the two countries you chose to reside in (I do hope I'm understanding that correctly!!).

I would have assumed that a similar agreement between the UK and Aus would have existed as well, but it sounds like that is not the case, unfortunately.

Your UK pension freezes when you leave the country although you can keep paying the stamp to reach the full amount of pension.

I'd assume it freezes at that point again though.

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9 minutes ago, Lavers said:

Your UK pension freezes when you leave the country although you can keep paying the stamp to reach the full amount of pension.

I'd assume it freezes at that point again though.

Interesting, although it still seems like a hassle to deal with.

So if you leave the country and never come back, would that mean you will never be able to claim your UK pension, ever?

Edited by Canada2Australia

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28 minutes ago, Canada2Australia said:

Interesting, although it still seems like a hassle to deal with.

So if you leave the country and never come back, would that mean you will never be able to claim your UK pension, ever?

Yes you can still claim it when you reach the UK retirement age but if you never paid anymore national insurance to the UK, then the amount will be what it was at the time you left the UK.

I've paid in 22years so mine will freeze at £120 a week (I think) unless I pay the remaining years which I'm not sure if its 8 or 13 now. If I pay the remaining years then I would have thought it then freezes when I pay them off.

The UK does a workplace pension where the employee pays in 5%, the employer 2.2% then you get 0.8% as a tax saving from the government. I think the government is already talking about scrapping the 0.8% already though.

So straight away with the Aus employers paying 9.5% super for you, we are onto a winner.

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24 minutes ago, Lavers said:

Your UK pension freezes when you leave the country although you can keep paying the stamp to reach the full amount of pension.

I'd assume it freezes at that point again though.

Best get professional advice rather than assuming the above. There are ways of topping it up.

As far as I know Your pension only freezes when you reach the day you become eligible to receive it, if you live overseas in some countries, which includes Australia. Or it freezes from the date you move to Australia if already in receipt.

please check the above advice.

 

 

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18 minutes ago, Lavers said:

Yes you can still claim it when you reach the UK retirement age but if you never paid anymore national insurance to the UK, then the amount will be what it was at the time you left the UK.

I've paid in 22years so mine will freeze at £120 a week (I think) unless I pay the remaining years which I'm not sure if its 8 or 13 now. If I pay the remaining years then I would have thought it then freezes when I pay them off.

The UK does a workplace pension where the employee pays in 5%, the employer 2.2% then you get 0.8% as a tax saving from the government. I think the government is already talking about scrapping the 0.8% already though.

So straight away with the Aus employers paying 9.5% super for you, we are onto a winner.

Well that seems fair. You shouldn't be entitled to anymore then what you have paid into it only when living and working in that country. It's the same for Canada, and I have no issues with that. At least we can claim it.

Edited by Canada2Australia

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Best get professional advice rather than assuming the above. There are ways of topping it up.
As far as I know Your pension only freezes when you reach the day you become eligible to receive it, if you live overseas in some countries, which includes Australia. Or it freezes from the date you move to Australia if already in receipt.
please check the above advice.
 
 

Yes this is right.
The proportion of the pension you receive depends on the number of years you have contributed. But the freezing of the amount you are paid is as Ramot has said.

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Just now, LouDYorkie said:


Yes this is right.
The proportion of the pension you receive depends on the number of years you have contributed. But the freezing of the amount you are paid is as Ramot has said.

That's good then I thought it froze now.

🤑🤑🤑🤑

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Obviously if you live in UK your pension is increased annually not sure of the percentage once you start to receive it. The increase is only frozen to overseas retirees.

How ever just to make it a bit more complicated?

We go back to England every year for about 3 months, we contact the pensions department with our dates, and while in England our pensions are increased to the amount they would be had we never left!!! Quite a good amount 15 years for me.

Then on our return to Australia it reverts back to the frozen amount. Crazy, but we make sure we get the extra.

 

Edited by ramot
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33 minutes ago, ramot said:

Obviously if you live in UK your pension is increased annually not sure of the percentage once you start to receive it. The increase is only frozen to overseas retirees.

How ever just to make it a bit more complicated?

We go back to England every year for about 3 months, we contact the pensions department with our dates, and while in England our pensions are increased to the amount they would be had we never left!!! Quite a good amount 15 years for me.

Then on our return to Australia it reverts back to the frozen amount. Crazy, but we make sure we get the extra.

 

You little sneakster haha

That's good thank you, I've looked at pensions a little but seeing as I've at least 30yrs to go I'm not that clued up on them.

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3 hours ago, Lavers said:

Yes you can still claim it when you reach the UK retirement age but if you never paid anymore national insurance to the UK, then the amount will be what it was at the time you left the UK.

I've paid in 22years so mine will freeze at £120 a week (I think) unless I pay the remaining years which I'm not sure if its 8 or 13 now. If I pay the remaining years then I would have thought it then freezes when I pay them off.

The UK does a workplace pension where the employee pays in 5%, the employer 2.2% then you get 0.8% as a tax saving from the government. I think the government is already talking about scrapping the 0.8% already though.

So straight away with the Aus employers paying 9.5% super for you, we are onto a winner.

The workplace pension depends on the company you work for. Many employers, particularly large companies will pay much more in than the 2.2% you quote above.  That is the minimum which I actually think is now 3%.  My employer pays far more in, as well as matching employee contributions up to a certain percent. It is therefore quite possible for someone to pay in let’s say 6% which is matched to make 12% and then the employer pays its legal contribution which they choose to be higher than the minimum, let’s say 5% and already you have 17% going into your pension pot. Your contribution is tax efficient as you say so based on the above example you’d be paying in approximately 5.5% of your income yet 17% is going in. I have no idea how that compares to super though, just pointing out your figures on workplace pensions are only stating minimum options.  You need to be mindful too that there has been talk of the state pension not being around in the future. Unlike super which is yours, the NI contributions you make are never yours. It is based on those contributions and we who have paid them for dozens of years think we are entitled to the state pension but actually, there’s no such Pension pot with anyone’s name attached to it. It is still officially considered a benefit and certainly not a right (sadly) so yes you can still claim it when you reach that golden age if it still exists. 

Edited by Tulip1
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23 minutes ago, Tulip1 said:

The workplace pension depends on the company you work for. Many employers, particularly large companies will pay much more in than the 2.2% you quote above.  That is the minimum which I actually think is now 3%.  My employer pays far more in, as well as matching employee contributions up to a certain percent. It is therefore quite possible for someone to pay in let’s say 6% which is matched to make 12% and then the employer pays its legal contribution which they choose to be higher than the minimum, let’s say 5% and already you have 17% going into your pension pot. Your contribution is tax efficient as you say so based on the above example you’d be paying in approximately 5.5% of your income yet 17% is going in. I have no idea how that compares to super though, just pointing out your figures on workplace pensions are only stating minimum options.  You need to be mindful too that there has been talk of the state pension not being around in the future. Unlike super which is yours, the NI contributions you make are never yours. It is based on those contributions and we who have paid them for dozens of years think we are entitled to the state pension but actually, there’s no such Pension pot with anyone’s name attached to it. It is still officially considered a benefit and certainly not a right (sadly) so yes you can still claim it when you reach that golden age if it still exists. 

True I'm only stating the minimum amount as for most people in the UK that is what they will get.

Theres always talk of there not being a state pension in the future, but there is no way that the work place pension will cover that (as it stands now).

The UK would have to do something like Aus to cover it.

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51 minutes ago, Lavers said:

True I'm only stating the minimum amount as for most people in the UK that is what they will get.

Theres always talk of there not being a state pension in the future, but there is no way that the work place pension will cover that (as it stands now).

The UK would have to do something like Aus to cover it.

That’s very true, the country will not just stop it and allow pensioners to starve to death. The difference will be the new handout whatever it’s called will almost certainly be means tested. It will have to be as they’re looking at stopping the current SP because it’s unaffordable.  Therefore whilst right now we will get it regardless to how much other money we have, I reckon many will not get it in the future unless their income falls below a certain level.  I won’t be at all happy if it stops before I get there and I miss out but we need to realise it’s a real possibility. 

Edited by Tulip1

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8 hours ago, Canada2Australia said:

The whole Pension thing for UK citizens confuses me.

For Canadians, from what I have read, my understanding is that there is an agreement between the two countries whereby as long as you work x amount of years, you would qualify for Superannuation (Aus) and Canadian Pension Plan (CPP) and Old Age Security (OAS), no matter which of the two countries you chose to reside in, and recieve all three (I do hope I'm understanding that correctly!!).

I would have assumed that a similar agreement between the UK and Aus would have existed as well, but it sounds like that is not the case, unfortunately.

@Canada2Australia, you are correct, many countries do have a Social Security Agreement.   The Agreement between the UK and Australia expired in 2000 and has never been renewed.  

An Australian could go and live in one of several European countries and claim their government pension, but not the UK.  I don't know what agreement Canada has.  It's up to each country to make individual deals with each other.

Superannuation is a private investment fund and nothing to do with the government, as are British private pensions.  I imagine CPP's are too. 

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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23 hours ago, Marisawright said:

@Canada2Australia, you are correct, many countries do have a Social Security Agreement.   The Agreement between the UK and Australia expired in 2000 and has never been renewed.  

An Australian could go and live in one of several European countries and claim their government pension, but not the UK.  I don't know what agreement Canada has.  It's up to each country to make individual deals with each other.

Superannuation is a private investment fund and nothing to do with the government, as are British private pensions.  I imagine CPP's are too. 

Our CPP and OAS are mandatory contributions and controlled by the Feds. Some provinces have set up manditory provincial pension plan program contributions as well.

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1 hour ago, Canada2Australia said:

Our CPP and OAS are mandatory contributions and controlled by the Feds. Some provinces have set up manditory provincial pension plan program contributions as well.

Same in Australia, they are mandated contributions and the amount is dictated by Federal government. How and when you can withdraw the money is also dictated by the government.  However, that is as far as it goes.  The money in the funds is not government money.


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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On 16/02/2020 at 20:13, Canada2Australia said:

Interesting, although it still seems like a hassle to deal with.

So if you leave the country and never come back, would that mean you will never be able to claim your UK pension, ever?

No. As long as you've worked some time in the UK you get a pro rata pension when you reach UK retirement age. The UK pension people were on the ball. I got a letter from them when I reached 65 and 3 months, my age my English pension started. I'd worked in the UK for about 24 years and they sent me a letter detailing what I was due to. Pleasantly surprised. You can appeal if you think you are due more but I bet you'd need serious proof.

We never topped it up as any spare cash we had we wanted to get the mortgage done.

Good thing is it's not means tested like the Aussie one. 

I also get a couple of private pension incomes from the NCB and Ferranti and my wife gets her NHS one. Mistake we made last year was taking lump sums from them and then got a big tax bill here. Now I've retired I should get a decent tax return this year.

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No. As long as you've worked some time in the UK you get a pro rata pension when you reach UK retirement age.

You are supposed to have a minimum of 10 years to get any pro-rata
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1 hour ago, LouDYorkie said:


You are supposed to have a minimum of 10 years to get any pro-rata

Could be. I had way more.

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On 18/02/2020 at 09:19, Paul1Perth said:. Mistake we made last year was taking lump sums from them and then got a big tax bill here. Now I've retired I should get a decent tax return this year.

So if you’re resident in Australia and take a lump sum from a UK pension then this is counted as income For Australian tax purposes? I might need to have a year in the UK once I turn 60....

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42 minutes ago, Chortlepuss said:

So if you’re resident in Australia and take a lump sum from a UK pension then this is counted as income For Australian tax purposes? I might need to have a year in the UK once I turn 60....

It is indeed.  You might need to get professional advice, as it all comes down to whether you're domiciled in Australia at the time. If you hop back to the UK for a year but you keep your home in Australia, that might not be enough to do the trick...


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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