Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. Free legal advice is available from a Citizen's Advice Bureau, and the Law Society can supply a list of local solicitors.

Been abroad for 16 years - where do we stand on pensions, benefits etc.

(11 Posts)
yearoftherat Tue 07-May-13 08:14:56

DH and I have lived abroad for the past 16 years, non EU. We have not paid any tax or NI during this time. We both worked abroad, but I am now a SAHM. We are returning to the UK next year. He has a very good job, earning quite a high income. After getting us all settled I would like to go back to work p/t if I can find it. We do not have any assets in the UK.

On returning I am unsure about where we stand with regards to any benefits, tax exemptions, future state pensions etc. Before we left we both paid quite a high level of tax on our incomes and NI, but as mentioned, have not for 16 years.

Let me just state, that I do not think we are ENTITLED to anything, I just want to know what my legal rights are and are not as a British citizen, returning. For example, does the 16 years abroad totally screw us over and would it be a waste of time catching up on NI contributions if we won't get a state pension anyway. We would be better off directing any spare money elsewhere. Plus, what about me. If I carry on being a SAHM will I be eligible for any pension at all? This is really to get a snapshot so we can start and plan, factoring in whether or not we get anything, or not at all.

We are both early 40's, so do have another 25 years + working life.

Anyone care to share or been in a similar situation?

Rockchick1984 Tue 07-May-13 10:48:59

[https://www.gov.uk/browse/working/state-pension Here]] should cover all you need to know about state pension - you will need to have paid 30 years of NI to claim full state pension (but that could change, it has in the past) so it all depends how long you have paid for in the past.

Regarding benefits, if you husband earns a fairly good salary there's no benefits you are likely to be entitled to, if you tell me roughly his salary and how many dependant children you have I can tell you if you would qualify for any benefits.

Rockchick1984 Tue 07-May-13 10:49:20
yearoftherat Tue 07-May-13 11:06:59

Thanks Rockchick. It looks like we could pay back 6 years of NI so that is a start. I think I may have to claim CB and then pay it back when I return to the UK so I get the NI credits before I find myself a p/t job (hopefully). I do think I need to look into this properly as my DH is saying "we won't get anything just forget it" which to me is a bad idea as every 20 quid a week is a big plus when you are retired.

This really is just for me to get a snap shot of where we are at. We have spent the past 16 years away from reality and I think we need to start seriously planning for our future. Knowing whether we can have a state pension, albeit a little one, or not will make us focus on what we need to do for the future.

OneLittleToddleTerror Tue 07-May-13 11:14:48

Where were you working overseas? The UK has social security agreements with some countries. This means your years work overseas are counted as years your have paid your NI. For example I know NZ has this agreement

www.workandincome.govt.nz/individuals/how-we-can-help-you/travelling-or-migrating/social-security-agreements/united-kingdom.html

That might be worth looking into. (My PIL are claiming part of their NZ superannunation via the NI they paid in the UK. That's how I know about this).

yearoftherat Tue 07-May-13 11:25:29

I have lived in Singapore and HK.

OneLittleToddleTerror Tue 07-May-13 11:52:20

Not sure the UK has reciprocal agreement with these city states. Maybe give these people a call first and see what they say?

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

Viviennemary Tue 07-May-13 11:58:03

The contributions you made before you left the country will of course count towards your state pension. From 2016 people need 35 years contributions for a full pension which is supposed to be being raised to £140 per week.

Also as regards child benefit. It is now means tested. So if your husband earns a very high salary you may not qualify for child benefit but you should still be able to get credits towards your state pension.

Toot Wed 08-May-13 21:45:46

Hi yearoftherat and all. I've not been out of the country but have been out of the job market for 15 years so my situation is similar. I am 45, I worked as a teacher from 1990 - 1998 but the last few months of that was maternity pay i.e not a full tax year. My son has special needs (but nothing I get allowances for) so with him and DS2 I have had a child under 12 for 15 years. Under the old system, I think I got Home Responsibility Credits for the years I had a child under 12. At some stage these were converted into something called N.I credits. These seem to be weekly things so I am not quite sure how this all adds up but anyway, when you do the calculation thing on the website that Rockchick sent you, my work years plus the N.I credits seems to give me almost a full pension (think it said £11 below). Not sure if that makes you feel any better i.e I'm sure you won't get nothing.

What I am struggling to find is hard info on what the new flat rate pension arrangements will do to me (or you) which were mentioned in the Queens speach today. I know the number of years we must work or have credits for has risen (my youngest turned 12 this month so for me it'll have to be work). I also know if I survive my husband I can't use his more complete N.I record to claim a pension. Not sure where hard info on this new scheme can be found and was hoping someone out there could help? As with yearoftherat, don't feel entitled to anything, just want to know some facts so I can plan/make decisions for the future.

My youngest goes to highschool in the new school year so I am trying to decide if I should pay to go on one of those return to teaching courses or run my own on line business (I make stained glass). Info on what this decision will do to my finances as an old lady could be useful.

OneLittleToddleTerror Wed 08-May-13 21:51:12

toot maybe you can start a new post to ask your questions? I'm sure someone more knowledgeable could help.

Toot Wed 08-May-13 21:58:13

Good idea oneLittleToddleTerror - have done that :-)

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now