Expatriate Brits: Don’t neglect your UK State Pension entitlement

‘The best investment a Brit can make’

One of the biggest threats to Brit’s living overseas is poor financial planning. Many Brit’s choose to live in countries without automatic pension legislation. Whilst in the short-term this is often financially advantageous as this can result in a higher salary, in the long-term this can be highly detrimental.

As the UK has a long history of pension legislation, people brought up in the UK are often not taught about the importance of retirement savings. Firstly, because of the UK’s auto-enrolment scheme, most people working in the UK contribute to a workplace pension.

Secondly, people working in the UK are legally obliged to pay National Insurance contributions, which pay towards your entitlement to certain state benefits, such as the State Pension and Maternity Allowance.

Once a UK national leaves the UK, there is firstly no guarantee of a workplace pension and there is no obligation for National Insurance payments to be made. If Brit’s fail to make sufficient National Insurance payments they will not receive their full state pension, and in certain cases, may receive nothing at all.

This for many Brit’s can be a recipe for disaster.

In the worst-case scenario, this can lead to Brit’s returning to the UK with no pension in place. Meaning they either have to carry on working well into their old age or rely on family member support. However, in many cases, people are unable to work into their old age, and many people are not in a position to be able to call on family members for financial aid.


HMRC welcomes overseas National Insurance contributions from expatriate Brit’s.

“You might be able to pay UK National Insurance while you’re working abroad, depending on where you’re working and how long for.” HMRC.

Do you have to make overseas National Insurance Contributions?

No. But in order to receive your full UK State Pension, you will need to ensure you make 35 years of contributions.

Is it worthwhile?

Yes. For as little as £15 per month/£3.05 per week, you are securing yourself a retirement income. The full UK State Pension is currently £134.25 per week, the UK triple lock system is designed to ensure this amount will increase each year to ensure people’s living standards are not diminished due to the effects of inflation.

I’ve been living overseas for a few years, have I missed out?

No. HMRC allows you to backdate your missed National Insurance contributions.

To start making National Insurance payments from outside the UK, please click on the link below.


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