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Paying NI to maximise UK pension

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I managed to claw my way to Oz last year so my partner can be with her family. Can anyone help me understand the process of paying NI contributions so that I get my full pension when I retire? I have 28 Full years paid up, how may do I need in total? I can't work out whether I have to pay Class 2 or 3, how much this would be and how many years. I can't seem to find an easy way to correspond with them either, am I doomed to have to phone them up?

Thanks in advance,


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If that all gets too complicated (which it might), don't despair, there's a simpler way - contact the International Pension Centre.  It takes longer, because they usually reply by snail mail.  However if you've already got 28 years paid, you've got plenty of time to sort it out, because you can backpay up to 6 years.

Here's the online form to contact them:


They'll send you a letter that confirms how much you've already paid and how much pension that will get you .  They will also tell you how many years extra you could pay to get the full pension, how much that will cost and how to pay it from Australia. 


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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