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DanO

Creating a Gov.UK account

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Man, what an exercise in frustration!

Background - Pom with Oz citizenship. I arrived in 1995 after being born in, and working for about 9 years, in the UK. I'm considering returning to retire in the UK with my Australian wife, in the next year or two.

I'm trying to find out about my NI contributions, and how much I could contribute in credits to qualify for however a minimal UK pension I might be able to claim (eventually). I tried to register for a Gov.UK account...went through providing my NI number and the various phone/email confirmations only to reach a page which requires me to provide two pieces of information so they can verify my identity.

I have my UK passport but they also require either a Northern Ireland driving license (not relevant) or details of UK credit cards/phone contracts etc. Obviously having been in Australia for 25+ years I don't have the ability to provide any of this information.

Am I missing something, because it seems virtually IMPOSSIBLE to satisfy these requirements....

 

Any advice appreciated!

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12 minutes ago, DanO said:

Man, what an exercise in frustration!

Background - Pom with Oz citizenship. I arrived in 1995 after being born in, and working for about 9 years, in the UK. I'm considering returning to retire in the UK with my Australian wife, in the next year or two.

I'm trying to find out about my NI contributions, and how much I could contribute in credits to qualify for however a minimal UK pension I might be able to claim (eventually). I tried to register for a Gov.UK account...went through providing my NI number and the various phone/email confirmations only to reach a page which requires me to provide two pieces of information so they can verify my identity.

I have my UK passport but they also require either a Northern Ireland driving license (not relevant) or details of UK credit cards/phone contracts etc. Obviously having been in Australia for 25+ years I don't have the ability to provide any of this information.

Am I missing something, because it seems virtually IMPOSSIBLE to satisfy these requirements....

 

Any advice appreciated!

Hi DanO,

Just write to them, it's so much easier, the address is on the GOV UK website.

Good luck with your move.

 

 


 Perth WA & QLD / UK

 

 

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Thanks for the response AliQ. I forgot there was such a thing as writing to people lol!

I'll give it a go.

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18 minutes ago, DanO said:

Thanks for the response AliQ. I forgot there was such a thing as writing to people lol!

I'll give it a go.

There is also an email form you can use which is on their website too. 

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 Perth WA & QLD / UK

 

 

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38 minutes ago, DanO said:

Thanks for the response AliQ. I forgot there was such a thing as writing to people lol!

Fill in the form online

https://www.gov.uk/international-pension-centre

Setting up a login to the gov.uk site isn't much use anyway. It will let you look at how many years of NI contributions you have, but you probably have a rough idea of that already.  It won't tell you what your pension is likely to be, nor is there any facility to pay extra contributions. All that has to be done by ordinary mail.  

Fill in the form to get a pension forecast.  They'll send you a detailed letter with all the info, including full instructions on how to backpay missing years.  They 're a bit slow to respond so be patient, but the letter will arrive eventually.

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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I managed to get in using an old UK address and NI number. It gave me a pension forecast and info on top ups and additional contributions to get the max pension available. 

  • Like 2

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

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I've yet to set up a UK gov account but hope to this week in fact. I have done all my contact by phone to date and was asked only for last addresses in UK over last years. I actually did not satisfy requirements in that area. Luckily had kept some letters from the period so could trace all addresses over the period. 

But they did inform on completion of that the number of years I'd paid in, which was a little less than expected. 

I've paid in one additional year to date, to test , still waiting for that year to be paid into my account. Will then top up maximum allowance. I'm sure you are aware that you must have ten years of contributions, before qualifying for payment. At least a non means tested payment for life. 

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Thanks for the info Blue Flu.

The reason I wanted to check is to see if I made the 10 years...I did some part time work before Uni, and then full time until I left for Oz at 29. I'm hoping I just snuck over the line...but if not, well I'll just accept I'll never see a UK or Oz pension. (annoyingly I have paid large taxes and Medicare surcharges in Oz for 24 years as I was well paid).

Edited by DanO

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1 hour ago, rammygirl said:

I managed to get in using an old UK address and NI number. It gave me a pension forecast and info on top ups and additional contributions to get the max pension available. 

Ooh that's new.  I had to do it all the long-winded way when I did it.


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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25 minutes ago, DanO said:

Thanks for the info Blue Flu.

The reason I wanted to check is to see if I made the 10 years...I did some part time work before Uni, and then full time until I left for Oz at 29. I'm hoping I just snuck over the line...but if not, well I'll just accept I'll never see a UK or Oz pension. (annoyingly I have paid large taxes and Medicare surcharges in Oz for 24 years as I was well paid).

...but the British pension isn't like the Aussie one, where you only need the 10 years and then you can potentially get the full pension.  The UK pension is pro rata even if you're living there.   So even if you've got the 10 years, all you'd get would be 10/35ths (I think) of the pension, which wouldn't be much.  Actually, you'd get a little more, because you could claim your years working in Australia from 1995 to 1999.  

You probably know this, but neither yourself or your wife will get the Australian pension if you leave before you are old enough to claim it.

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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Yes, we will have to live on savings and Super alone.

Even if we stay in Oz, we probably wont get any Australian pension until we are about 75+ based on our Super assets.

 

 

Edited by DanO

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Unfortunately though drawing your super whilst in The UK will mean HMRC will tax it even if the ATO doesn’t 


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

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2 hours ago, rammygirl said:

Unfortunately though drawing your super whilst in The UK will mean HMRC will tax it even if the ATO doesn’t 

That's true, but you  can minimize the tax if you do it intelligently.   


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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8 hours ago, DanO said:

Thanks for the info Blue Flu.

The reason I wanted to check is to see if I made the 10 years...I did some part time work before Uni, and then full time until I left for Oz at 29. I'm hoping I just snuck over the line...but if not, well I'll just accept I'll never see a UK or Oz pension. (annoyingly I have paid large taxes and Medicare surcharges in Oz for 24 years as I was well paid).

I was able to check mine (I still own an investment property in the UK and was able to use that address and the mortgage on it to pass the checks) and was surprised to discover that the two years I was doing my A-levels count as full contributions (didn't even have a part-time job so definitely no NIC paid). Also my wife got contributions in years we receive Child Benefit even without any NIC being paid so it's not just about the number of years you worked.


Chartered Accountant (England & Wales); Registered Tax Agent & Fellow of The Tax Institute (Australia) www.kbfayers.com

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15 minutes ago, Marisawright said:

That's true, but you  can minimize the tax if you do it intelligently.   

If you can legitimately keep your income below £12,570 (approx. AU$23,000) each there's no tax to pay.


Chartered Accountant (England & Wales); Registered Tax Agent & Fellow of The Tax Institute (Australia) www.kbfayers.com

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34 minutes ago, Ken said:

If you can legitimately keep your income below £12,570 (approx. AU$23,000) each there's no tax to pay.

May be doable...but I realise there is a minimum withdrawal % of income stream. So given my super...it may not be possible.  Thanks for the input ever.yone, plenty of food for thought.

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Are you old enough to turn your super into a self-managed super fund?  You can then transfer the money into your bank account.  As it’s not an income it’s not taxed.

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45 minutes ago, Cup Final 1973 said:

Are you old enough to turn your super into a self-managed super fund?  You can then transfer the money into your bank account.  As it’s not an income it’s not taxed.

I will be soon, however I am quite happy with the fund management by my Super provider, so I would likely just convert it to an income stream and limit my withdrawal amounts  to minimise UK tax... I think? 

My internal debate at the moment is probably around walking away from my Oz state  pension forever, by returning to the UK. This smarts after paying hundreds of thousands of dollars in tax over 25 years.

My dilemma is more a case of retirement lifestyle in the UK (history, landscape, pubs and ease of European travel etc) vs comfort of having an Oz pension until I die (security in a country that doesn't really float my boat anymore). 

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12 hours ago, DanO said:

I will be soon, however I am quite happy with the fund management by my Super provider, so I would likely just convert it to an income stream and limit my withdrawal amounts  to minimise UK tax... I think? 

My internal debate at the moment is probably around walking away from my Oz state  pension forever, by returning to the UK. This smarts after paying hundreds of thousands of dollars in tax over 25 years.

My dilemma is more a case of retirement lifestyle in the UK (history, landscape, pubs and ease of European travel etc) vs comfort of having an Oz pension until I die (security in a country that doesn't really float my boat anymore). 

The State Pension is not really a reward for paying tax. If you have had a successful career and have lots of super then you have don't need the pension.

Lots of people in Australia are self funded retirees. If you have over a million in super you should make good money investing that in the sharemarket. It shouldn't be too hard to make over 7% a year and therefore have a good income. 

It is a good problem to have to be too wealthy to receive the state pension.

If you are happy with the fund managers you might be able to leave the money in the fund and just draw out a retirement income. That is what i want to do. But you should get financial advice if you are moving overseas if it is allowed to keep your retirement money invested in Australia.

Edited by Parley

Buy a man eat fish. The Day, Teach Man, to lifetime.      - Joe Biden.

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5 minutes ago, Parley said:

It is a good problem to have to be too wealthy to receive the state pension.

I kind of agree...however it's just that fear of cutting off a "safety net".

I'm trying to stop imagining a scenario where the money runs out and no fallback from a pension! Just a matter of working it through and not catastrophising!

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2 minutes ago, DanO said:

I kind of agree...however it's just that fear of cutting off a "safety net".

I'm trying to stop imagining a scenario where the money runs out and no fallback from a pension! Just a matter of working it through and not catastrophising!

Yes. True. Most of us have it there as a fallback if something disastrous happens to our money.


Buy a man eat fish. The Day, Teach Man, to lifetime.      - Joe Biden.

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14 hours ago, Cup Final 1973 said:

Are you old enough to turn your super into a self-managed super fund?  You can then transfer the money into your bank account.  As it’s not an income it’s not taxed.

No, you can't.    

Super in a self-managed fund is subject to the same rules as any other super fund. It MUST stay in the fund until you reach eligible age.

If you've reached eligible age, you can transfer the whole amount straight into your bank account from your ordinary super fund, no need to faff around creating a SMSF.  

Once the money is in your bank account, it's just savings, and you won't be taxed if you transfer it to the UK. 

However, IF YOU ARE ALREADY OVERSEAS WHEN YOU TAKE THE LUMP SUM, the British taxman will grab a very hefty chunk of it.  So it's a strategy that works ONLY if you are still living in Australia at the time you do it. 

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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, DanO said:

I kind of agree...however it's just that fear of cutting off a "safety net".

I'm trying to stop imagining a scenario where the money runs out and no fallback from a pension! Just a matter of working it through and not catastrophising!

This is what brought us back to Australia.   We were foolish enough to retire early in our mid-50's.  At that time we thought we had pots of money in super and savings, and could easily afford it.  

Only twelve years later, we realise we under-estimated the power of inflation.  Don't trust the CPI, it misses heaps of stuff that will affect you as you get older.   

We have too many assets to get the Aussie pension now, but unless we both cark it in our early 80's, we will need it.   Of course, most people do cark it in their 80's, but there's always that niggling fear that we might soldier on past that date, and if the money is gone, what then?

https://www.firecalc.com/

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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55 minutes ago, Marisawright said:

No, you can't.    

Super in a self-managed fund is subject to the same rules as any other super fund. It MUST stay in the fund until you reach eligible age.

If you've reached eligible age, you can transfer the whole amount straight into your bank account from your ordinary super fund, no need to faff around creating a SMSF.  

Once the money is in your bank account, it's just savings, and you won't be taxed if you transfer it to the UK. 

However, IF YOU ARE ALREADY OVERSEAS WHEN YOU TAKE THE LUMP SUM, the British taxman will grab a very hefty chunk of it.  So it's a strategy that works ONLY if you are still living in Australia at the time you do it. 

The current plan in my head goes like this:

  • Before we go to the UK (aged 60), we would just convert our Super accounts to an income stream and withdraw equivalent of 25,000 GBP a year, to minimise UK tax.
  • We have some savings which we would take to the UK as a lump sum (tax free), and use to purchase ISAs over a few years, meaning we could draw down on those after we exhausted Aus Super funds. That would also be tax free as ISAs are untaxed and would probably give us another 5 or so years income.
  • We would buy a house outright, from the proceeds of our (mortgage free) Aus house and if the ISA s ran out, we could downsize to a cheaper house and generate several more years of tax free funds.

However...that still assumes that we would both cark it by our late 80s....

Beyond that obviously we would have no more income. Hence agonising over losing the safety net of an Aus pension.

An alternative would be to stay here and enjoy holidays to the UK every couple of years and relax knowing we had an Aus pension at the end of it all.

Ah - the agony of choice!!!!

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