UK National Insurance as an Expat
Last updated: 4 June 2018
In essence if you live and work in the UK and have sufficient income you will automatically pay National Insurance contributions. However, if you have moved abroad, your National Insurance contributions will cease.
Why are National Insurance contributions important?
Ultimately your National Insurance contributions pay towards things like your UK state pension, any benefits you may receive when you live in the UK. As a British Expat, if you have made sufficient contributions over the course of your lifetime, you will still be entitled to receive a state pension.
Can you make voluntary contributions?
If you don’t already do so, you can start making regular voluntary contributions. There are two types of contribution that you can make, either Class 2 or Class 3.
To qualify for Class 2 NICs, you must have been "ordinarily" employed or self-employed immediately before you went abroad.
Class 2 contributions count towards your state pension when you retire and they entitle you to Employment and Support Allowance and bereavement benefits if and when you return to the UK.
Class 3 contributions can be more expensive and have fewer benefits in that they you won't be entitled to the Employment and Support Allowance.
Making up for missed years
If you haven’t been making any contributions for some time and are short of your 30 qualifying years, then you can make up to 6 years worth of contributions. If you are unsure about the current forecast of your state pension, you can request a State Pension Forecast which will give you the information you need to know to be able to make up payments in each of these years.
National insurance advice for expats
If you need advice on clarifying your current status, tax position or financial planning arrangements simply complete the form and we will connect you with a financial adviser who can assist on all matters relating to personal financial planning.