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DanO

Changes to UK pension for returning Expats

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Oh dear, it looks like the Poms are about to close the minimal "loophole" for National Insurance contributions of those who worked in Australia prior to 2001...

The GOV.UK website confirms that from January 1, 2022, you will no longer be able to count periods living in Australia (before March 1, 2001), Canada or New Zealand, towards calculating your UK State Pension if both the following apply:

  • you are a UK national, EU or EEA citizen or Swiss national

  • you move to live in the EU, EEA or Switzerland on or after January 1, 2022, including if you move to live in another EU, EEA country or Switzerland on or after January 1, 2022

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5 minutes ago, DanO said:

Oh dear, it looks like the Poms are about to close the minimal "loophole" for National Insurance contributions of those who worked in Australia prior to 2001...

The GOV.UK website confirms that from January 1, 2022, you will no longer be able to count periods living in Australia (before March 1, 2001), Canada or New Zealand, towards calculating your UK State Pension if both the following apply:

  • you are a UK national, EU or EEA citizen or Swiss national

  • you move to live in the EU, EEA or Switzerland on or after January 1, 2022, including if you move to live in another EU, EEA country or Switzerland on or after January 1, 2022

But that won't impact on payment will it? Those years recognized are to get one over the line of ten years in order to qualify. That was my understanding anyway from talking to the NI people in Newcastle. (in my case in was the years  mostly in worked in EU but a little in Australia as well) 

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As I read it, it will mean anyone who worked in Aus for X years prior to 2001 will not be credited with those years on National Insurance...so they will effectively lose those years of UK state pension.

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1 hour ago, DanO said:

Oh dear, it looks like the Poms are about to close the minimal "loophole" for National Insurance contributions of those who worked in Australia prior to 2001...

The GOV.UK website confirms that from January 1, 2022, you will no longer be able to count periods living in Australia (before March 1, 2001), Canada or New Zealand, towards calculating your UK State Pension if both the following apply:

  • you are a UK national, EU or EEA citizen or Swiss national

  • you move to live in the EU, EEA or Switzerland on or after January 1, 2022, including if you move to live in another EU, EEA country or Switzerland on or after January 1, 2022

Is the UK part of the EEA ? Or is moving back to the UK from Australia ok?

Sounds to me like moving to the UK in retirement is not impacted.


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

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The UK is not part of the EEA since leaving the EU, as I understand it. 

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3 hours ago, Blue Flu said:

But that won't impact on payment will it? Those years recognized are to get one over the line of ten years in order to qualify. 

No, they are credited to your account as if they had been earned in the UK, for the purposes of calculating your pension entitlement.  So for instance, you might have 12 years of NI contributions and then you worked another 10 years in Australia, you would be regarded as having 22 years' contributions.  

I know that you can't claim your Australian years unless you're actually residing in the UK, and if you then return to live in Australia, you lose them again.  

I had always thought you'd lose them if you moved to Europe, too, but the above post suggests that wasn't the case.


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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9 minutes ago, Marisawright said:

No, they are credited to your account as if they had been earned in the UK, for the purposes of calculating your pension entitlement.  So for instance, you might have 12 years of NI contributions and then you worked another 10 years in Australia, you would be regarded as having 22 years' contributions.  

I know that you can't claim your Australian years unless you're actually residing in the UK, and if you then return to live in Australia, you lose them again.  

I had always thought you'd lose them if you moved to Europe, too, but the above post suggests that wasn't the case.

While Britain was in the EU they weren't allowed to discriminate against anyone living elsewhere in the EU, they had to be treated the same as anyone living in the UK. Now they can be treated the same as anyone living in Australia!


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

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Well I was intending to go to UK next year to claim my delayed pension ( I will be 71) and worked in Australia prior to 2001 - but I guess that’s not worth doing now. I mean , it’s still worth going to UK to see family but not worth trying to claim - now.

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1 hour ago, Exnorthumbrian said:

Well I was intending to go to UK next year to claim my delayed pension ( I will be 71) and worked in Australia prior to 2001 - but I guess that’s not worth doing now. I mean , it’s still worth going to UK to see family but not worth trying to claim - now.

But you can still claim what has been paid into NI. The additional payment was only available, means tested, if were moving back to UK to live as I understand it. Once left UK, it would revert back to amount paid in. It appears from Jan 1, that one cannot get the top up, even if moving back to live. 

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1 hour ago, Exnorthumbrian said:

Well I was intending to go to UK next year to claim my delayed pension ( I will be 71) and worked in Australia prior to 2001 - but I guess that’s not worth doing now. I mean , it’s still worth going to UK to see family but not worth trying to claim - now.

Were you thinking of going back to the UK to live permanently?   If so, that's still worth doing. The change applies ONLY to Brits living in the EU.  If you're living in the UK, you can claim 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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