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I left the UK in my early 30s after working mainly part time. Will my UK Pension be worth anything and do I need to do anything about it? 

I've used the online tools but I never seem to come up with much. I just want to know how much it'll be worth, roughly. 

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Do you mean a private pension or the Gov aged pension?


So many wineries ......so little time :yes:

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44 minutes ago, rammygirl said:

Do you mean a private pension or the Gov aged pension?

The Govt one. 

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4 hours ago, HappyHeart said:

The Govt one. 

You can contact the UK Pension Centre at https://www.gov.uk/international-pension-centre.

The whole UK Pension thing can be a minefield, but there is a link on the website where you can contact them and ask for a "forecast" of what you are entitled to and when it will be paid.   They can also tell you if you are eligible to top up your "pot" so you receive more pension. 

However, please realise that if you are entitled to the UK Aged Pension,  once you claim it from Australia, it will remain frozen at that amount until your demise as you live in a Commonwealth country.   The Frozen Pension issue is a huge campaign point for over half a million of us UK citizens who live in Commonwealth countries.     If you wish to look further into this, I suggest you also look at https://bpia.org.au/.  

BPiA is an organisation formed in Australia to support those of us Brits who are affected by this unfair anomaly and wish to have parity with all other UK Aged Pensioners who live around the world but not in Commonwealth countries, as their pensions are increased in line with those Aged Pensioners in UK.   This organisation has joined with similar groups in Canada and South Africa to fight this unfair situation.   Why should Commonwealth countries not be treated the same as every other country in the world!!!?  

Sorry ... stepping off my soapbox, but I do 't think many people realise this discrimination is happening.   Happy to chat to you Happy Heart if you want  further info.   Rossy.

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......Just trying to be helpful so don't shoot me down if my personal views do not coincide with yours! :animal-dog:

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Posted (edited)

It depends on how many complete years you have.

I arrived a few years back when I was 28. I calculated I would recover the additional "top up" payments in less than 12 months of withdrawing it. Although I didn't take into account inflation.

@Rossmoyne I suppose if Australia becomes a republic it won't be an issue anymore?

Edited by JetBlast
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2 minutes ago, JetBlast said:

It depends on how many complete years you have.

I arrived a few years back when I was 28. I calculated I would recover the additional "top up" payments in less than 12 months of withdrawing it. Although I didn't take into account inflation.

@Rossmoyne I suppose if Australia becomes a republic it won't be an issue anymore?

Nothing to do with whether Australia becomes a republic or not.  It is discimination and should be dealt with. 

 


......Just trying to be helpful so don't shoot me down if my personal views do not coincide with yours! :animal-dog:

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1 minute ago, Rossmoyne said:

Nothing to do with whether Australia becomes a republic or not.  It is discimination and should be dealt with. 

 

The UK citizenship laws are sexist. Although thats another topic!

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22 minutes ago, Rossmoyne said:

You can contact the UK Pension Centre at https://www.gov.uk/international-pension-centre.

The whole UK Pension thing can be a minefield, but there is a link on the website where you can contact them and ask for a "forecast" of what you are entitled to and when it will be paid.   They can also tell you if you are eligible to top up your "pot" so you receive more pension. 

However, please realise that if you are entitled to the UK Aged Pension,  once you claim it from Australia, it will remain frozen at that amount until your demise as you live in a Commonwealth country.   The Frozen Pension issue is a huge campaign point for over half a million of us UK citizens who live in Commonwealth countries.     If you wish to look further into this, I suggest you also look at https://bpia.org.au/.  

BPiA is an organisation formed in Australia to support those of us Brits who are affected by this unfair anomaly and wish to have parity with all other UK Aged Pensioners who live around the world but not in Commonwealth countries, as their pensions are increased in line with those Aged Pensioners in UK.   This organisation has joined with similar groups in Canada and South Africa to fight this unfair situation.   Why should Commonwealth countries not be treated the same as every other country in the world!!!?  

Sorry ... stepping off my soapbox, but I do 't think many people realise this discrimination is happening.   Happy to chat to you Happy Heart if you want  further info.   Rossy.

But if you get the Australian pension as well aren't you still better off than us Aussies?


I want it all, and I want it now.

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15 minutes ago, JetBlast said:

The UK citizenship laws are sexist. Although thats another topic!

Not any more.


I want it all, and I want it now.

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Posted (edited)

I came to Australia in my thirties too. I got my forecast from the pension office and it was well worth me back-paying some of the missing years, even taking the frozen pension thing into account.

The UK govt will tell you it’s not discrimination, it’s the fact that there is no reciprocal agreement between the UK and Australia due to the different structure of their pensions. Australians in the UK miss out too, though in a different way

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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Posted (edited)

 

2 hours ago, Rossmoyne said:

You can contact the UK Pension Centre at https://www.gov.uk/international-pension-centre.

The whole UK Pension thing can be a minefield, but there is a link on the website where you can contact them and ask for a "forecast" of what you are entitled to and when it will be paid.   They can also tell you if you are eligible to top up your "pot" so you receive more pension. 

However, please realise that if you are entitled to the UK Aged Pension,  once you claim it from Australia, it will remain frozen at that amount until your demise as you live in a Commonwealth country.   The Frozen Pension issue is a huge campaign point for over half a million of us UK citizens who live in Commonwealth countries.     If you wish to look further into this, I suggest you also look at https://bpia.org.au/.  

BPiA is an organisation formed in Australia to support those of us Brits who are affected by this unfair anomaly and wish to have parity with all other UK Aged Pensioners who live around the world but not in Commonwealth countries, as their pensions are increased in line with those Aged Pensioners in UK.   This organisation has joined with similar groups in Canada and South Africa to fight this unfair situation.   Why should Commonwealth countries not be treated the same as every other country in the world!!!?  

Sorry ... stepping off my soapbox, but I do 't think many people realise this discrimination is happening.   Happy to chat to you Happy Heart if you want  further info.   Rossy.

Thanks very much for this info Rossy. I think I've tried this before and got stuck with the ID side of things. My UK passport has expired now. I've sent a message through the contact form, hopefully someone will get back to me..though I seem to remember doing this before too. 

Edited by HappyHeart
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42 minutes ago, HappyHeart said:

 

Thanks very much for this info Rossy. I think I've tried this before and got stuck with the ID side of things. My UK passport has expired now. 

You need the UK passport if you want to use the online system, but you don't need to use it if you just want to know about the pension and make some back payments.  You can do it all by mail with the Pension Centre.  You do need your National Insurance number, though.

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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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22 minutes ago, Marisawright said:

You need the UK passport if you want to use the online system, but you don't need to use it if you just want to know about the pension and make some back payments.  You can do it all by mail with the Pension Centre.  You do need your National Insurance number, though.

Mail or email?

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4 hours ago, Parley said:

But if you get the Australian pension as well aren't you still better off than us Aussies?

A little, but not much as much as you'd think (at least not is all cases), the amount of AUS state pension you can claim is reduced by a certain amount (I think 50c for each dollar) for every dollar of income you get from other sources

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Posted (edited)
12 hours ago, HappyHeart said:

Mail or email?

You can send them emails, but they do most things by mail (for security reasons, apparently).  

It's not a big deal.  You'll get one long letter which tells you everything you need to know, including what back payments you can make.  You make the payments, then just make sure you let them know if your address changes.  When it's time to get the pension they'll write to you again to confirm banking arrangements and you're done.

Edited by Marisawright
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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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36 minutes ago, Marisawright said:

You can send them emails, but they do most things by mail (for security reasons, apparently).  

It's not a big deal.  You'll get one long letter which tells you everything you need to know, including what back payments you can make.  You make the payments, then just make sure you let them know if your address changes.  When it's time to get the pension they'll write to you again to confirm banking arrangements and you're done.

Thanks Marisa, I'll wait to see if I get a reply to my email then follow up with a letter as needed. Time to start thinking about the 'future' I guess. Not my thing but must be sensible and prepared....

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1 hour ago, HappyHeart said:

Thanks Marisa, I'll wait to see if I get a reply to my email then follow up with a letter as needed. Time to start thinking about the 'future' I guess. Not my thing but must be sensible and prepared....

It can make your head spin.  You can go cross-eyed trying to work out/guess whether it's worth paying the extra years.  I gave up trying and just decided to pay it, because I could afford it.  Now that I'm retired, it 's great to have an extra $1,000 drop into my bank account every quarter.  It may not sound like much, but if I can manage to live another three years, I'll get back every cent of those back-payments I made, and I'll be in profit!  So, well worth it for me.

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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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On 13/05/2021 at 17:51, Rossmoyne said:

Nothing to do with whether Australia becomes a republic or not.  It is discimination and should be dealt with. 

 

Nothing to do with Australia being in the Commonwealth and all about reciprocity. If a person worked for 20 years in Australia then moved to the UK before retirement the Australian government refuses to pay them any portion of the Aged pension and the social security cost falls entirely on the UK taxpayer. If a person worked for 20 years in the UK then moved to Australia before retirement the Australian government requires them to claim their UK pension and reduces their aged pension by a portion of it so a portion of Australia's social security cost is borne by the UK taxpayer.

Until such time as the Australian government agrees a fairer split of social security expenditure British pensioners in Australia should not expect to receive full pensions from the UK taxpayer. 

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On 13/05/2021 at 16:08, Parley said:

But if you get the Australian pension as well aren't you still better off than us Aussies?

No as the Australian government only top up the UK pension to the full Australian pension amount.


......Just trying to be helpful so don't shoot me down if my personal views do not coincide with yours! :animal-dog:

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Rossmoyne said:

No as the Australian government only top up the UK pension to the full Australian pension amount.

Not true AFAIK. 

Also bear in mind you get the UK pension as soon as you’re eligible but the Australian one is means tested so you may not get much of it till later in your retirement 

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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Posted (edited)
22 hours ago, Rossmoyne said:

No as the Australian government only top up the UK pension to the full Australian pension amount.

 

20 hours ago, Marisawright said:

Not true AFAIK. 

Also bear in mind you get the UK pension as soon as you’re eligible but the Australian one is means tested so you may not get much of it till later in your retirement 

Rossmoyne is right Marisa regarding the top up. My Aussie pension is just a top up to my UK pension bringing it up to the Australian level. They also classed a small UK gratuity of 1200 pounds per annum as earnings which meant it didn't reduce my pension as  a single pensioner is allowed  to earn $178 a fortnight without affecting the pension.

It may be of interest to some regarding UK graduated pension. My employer in the UK opted out when this was legislated for and enrolled all employees with Canada Life. I think I only paid in for a couple of years before migrating. 2 years into my Oz migration I wrote to them and told them that I was a full time carer and likely would never work again and would like to draw on the pension. Took a lot of arguing for but they eventually agreed to pay it me as an annual gratuity of just over 1200 quid a year. This was 24yrs ago and I'm still drawing and although it's depreciated, I reckon I've had my money back

Edited by Johndoe
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I'm sure when my Mum found out about getting the UK pension she ended up better off.

If all they did was reduce the Australian pension by the UK amount and people still just got the full Australian Pension amount but split between Aus and UK, there would be no point in anyone applying for the UK pension. They might as well stay on the full Aus Pension and do nothing.

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I want it all, and I want it now.

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1 hour ago, Johndoe said:

 

Rossmoyne is right Marisa regarding the top up. My Aussie pension is just a top up to my UK pension bringing it up to the Australian level.

That's interesting.  I was told that they take overseas pensions into account but only at something like 50 cents to the dollar.   

It was still worth it for me, because it will be some years before I get any Aussie pension due to the means testing, but I've got my UK pension already.  

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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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1 hour ago, Parley said:

I'm sure when my Mum found out about getting the UK pension she ended up better off.

If all they did was reduce the Australian pension by the UK amount and people still just got the full Australian Pension amount but split between Aus and UK, there would be no point in anyone applying for the UK pension. They might as well stay on the full Aus Pension and do nothing.

The UK benefit system can assume a 'notional income' If someone chooses not to claim an income to which they are entitled. I don't know whether this happens in Australia but suspect it might.  T x

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10 minutes ago, tea4too said:

The UK benefit system can assume a 'notional income' If someone chooses not to claim an income to which they are entitled. I don't know whether this happens in Australia but suspect it might.  T x

The Australian benefit system (Centrelink) insists on you applying for all overseas pensions first, before they decide what you'll get.

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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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