Can I increase my state pension amount?

Yes! If you have not yet reached retirement age, you can make voluntary contributions going forward to purchase additional qualifying years, up to the point that you reach your pensionable age. You may also be able to buy back previous years, even if you have already reached retirement age!  Both of these actions will increase the pension you receive.

The cost of making a voluntary contribution for 1 year depends on your circumstances, but in 2016 it was either £145.60 or £733.20. We can explain in more detail how you might be eligible to make voluntary contributions at the lower rate. Based on 2016 pension rates, 1 extra qualifying year is worth £206 annually in increased pension, so it could be very financially attractive to purchase additional qualifying years, especially at the lower rate.

For most Canadians the UK pension will not affect the amount of CPP and OAS received. However it will affect the amount of any GIS you receive, and if you have net taxable income over $71,000 there could be some clawback from your OAS.

Become a CABP member, support our fight and we will show you how to make voluntary contributions

Comments

  1. According to a story on the BBC news website, the UK government has announced that Class 2 National Insurance contributions would not now be abolished in this Parliament. This is good news for those working to top up their UK State Pension who have been approved for paying Class 2 NI going forward:

    https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-45439542

  2. The Frozen Pension issue was discussed on the BBC radio show on August 10, 2018:

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b0bd6ygj

    • TThe frozen pension story starts at 13:25. Well done to everyone that made this happen. Thank you!

      One of the arguments the UK Government uses for not increasing our UK state pension is because there is no reciprocal agreement, implying that Canada does not increase the pensions of their expats living in the UK. Well, Canada does increase CPP and OAS when living abroad. So, the Conservative MP, Sir Roger Gale, is basing his argument on a technicality and not the reality. He is slyly peddling miss-information.

      What we need is the Canadian government to draft, submit, and ratify a reciprocal agreement with the UK – the cost to Canada is nil, and the benefit is that those increased pensions will be spent here. It’s worth the fight.

  3. Are you able to give me details on how exactly I can pay voluntary payments from Canada. I have searched in the MY CABP that was sent to me, but still am not sue how I go about paying from a Canadian bank account? Thanks

    • David Morris says:

      Hello Debbie, most people simply get an International Money order and send it by mail. I am not aware of any ability to have it sent directly from your Canadian account. It may be possible to send a wire, but I don’t know anyone who has done that

      • Bob Lin says:

        We ask the Royal Bank of Canada to provide us with a bank draft in UK pounds, drawn on a UK bank. The cheques they provide have the UK bank “Nat West” printed on it. The cheques have been accepted by HM Revenue and Customs.

        • Thank you for the info

        • Hi Bob, Can you confirm the address you normally send your money order to? They don’t stipulate where to send cheques on the letter they sent me. Thanks

          • This what I write (print) on the back of the cheque:
            – Full name
            – My address
            – My National Insurance number

            The cheque is sent to:
            NIC&EO
            HMRC
            BX9 1AN
            United Kingdom

            If I don’t have a payment slip, I include a short letter that states:
            I enclose a cheque for £148.20 for Class 2 National Insurance
            contributions for the period 09/04/17 to 07/04/18.

  4. Thanks CABP. With all the info you sent me on joining, I was able to get my class 3 payments reduced to class 2, and I can pay back to 2007.

    • Dick Combeer says:

      Hi, I only just found CABP, which provides a wonderful sense of not being alone against two bureaucracies 🙂
      Other entries indicate Class 2 payments are no longer an option.
      I just received a letter from The International Pension Centre explaining making class 3 contributions for the last four years, Could you advise about making class 2, and 2007?
      Thanks,
      Dick Combeer
      new CABP member

      • David Morris says:

        Hello Dick, Class 2 has been extended for another year, so you can apply to the Pension Centre for approval to make Class 2 payments. I believe it is too late for any payment in 2007

  5. Rashpal Singh says:

    Hi David I intend to spend most of my time in India after I retire,can I get my uk pension paid into my Indian bank account. Thanks.

  6. Arthur says:

    My wife was born in the Uk in 1968 she came to Canada in 75 when she was 7 and has been here since. Can she backpay 10 years and be qualified or did she have to work at least a year. Thanks in advance

    • David Morris says:

      Hello Arthur, she has to have an NI number, meaning she has to have worked at least a year

      • melanie sharp says:

        Since last year you have to have worked in uk for 10 years in order to receive a partial uk pension. My husband worked there for 9 years but was a year short…..so no pension of any sort fron uk.

        • David Morris says:

          Hello Melanie, depending on your husbands age, it may be possible to buy an additional year, which would entitle him to a partial pension

  7. “On 2 November 2017 the government announced a one year delay to the abolition of Class 2 NICs. Class 2 NICs will now be abolished from 6 April 2019 rather than 6 April 2018”

    https://www.cipp.org.uk/news-publications/news/abolition-of-class-2-nics-draft-legislation.html

  8. Thank you to everyone at CABP.

    We followed the process outlined in the information package, and we have both been approved for Class 2 contributions. However, my wife was approved for the years 2006-2007 to 2016-2017 (11 years) and going forward, but I was only approved for 2016-2017 (1 year!) and going forward. Can I appeal the decision regarding my situation? We moved to Canada in 1997.

    The only real difference between our applications is that I was unemployed for about three weeks before we left the UK, whereas my wife had stopped work a month earlier to look after the children and wasn’t registered unemployed.

    Thanks in advance

  9. From reading your documents received on joining, I understand that if I defer receipt of my UK pension (which I think I can do for up to 5 years), the pension I receive will still not include indexing from the date I achieve the state pension age (ie if I achieve state pension age on Jan 1, 2018, but defer receipt of my pension to Jan 1, 2023 the amount I receive will still be based on the pension that would have been payable at Jan 1, 2018).

    Please can you confirm my understanding is correct of clarify if not?

    Thanks
    Kevin

    • David Morris says:

      Hello Kevin, you are correct. The pension will not include the indexing component, only the deferral component

  10. In the package sent upon joining, you mentioned that are special provisions where you may be allowed to go back 10 years vs. the normal 6. What are those or can you post a link to the information?

    • David Morris says:

      hello Trish, did you receive MYCABP when you joined ? if so, page 11 shows when you can go back 10 years

  11. Nicola R says:

    Hi there! I have received a schedule of payments from HMRC, daiting back to 2006-7 year. Do I have to make all these payments at once, or can I select the years I want to pay? I would like to pay for 2006-07, 2007-8 and 2008-9, and pay the other years at a later date. Is this a possibility? Many thanks, Nicola

    • David Morris says:

      Hello Nicola, you can select the years you want to pay. As long as you make the payment by the final expiry date shown, you are ok.

  12. Also, David, I noticed a couple of posts you made in May 2016 saying the Class 2 NICs are to be phased out in 2017. Could you please clarify if this info is still accurate? I have only just begun exploring my eligibility, but have seen nothing to this effect on the gov.uk website, and everything I have read there suggests I would be eligible to make voluntary Class 2 contributions.

    I am 55, moved from the UK to Canada in 1992, and my pension forecast says I have 6 qualifying contributory years from the 1980s and so will be eligible for a prorated pension if I make at least 4 more annual contributions for a total of 10 years; and if I continue to contribute for the next 12 years *and* make my maximum 6 catch-up payments I will end up with around 2/3 of a full UK pension. This is all a nice surprise — especially if it doesn’t impact CPP/OAS — but it would be a totally different scenario if I had to cough up for Class 3 NICs. Thanks for clarifying.

  13. Hi,

    Regarding the statement on this page that “For most Canadians the UK pension will not affect the amount of CPP and OAS received,” can you cast any light on this potentially contradictory post from another expat website: “There is a clause in the UK/Canada Social Security treaty that says any year that you are insured under National Insurance in the UK will not count as a year towards Old Age Security in Canada… [but] The general consensus is that this is ignored. I wrote to Service Canada about this and their response was in government speak. Essentially, they said that when assessing someone’s entitlement to OAS they do not ask the UK government about your NI status. They carefully avoided making any guarantee that they would not do so in future.”

    This sounds very mushy. Nice I guess if the clause is generally ignored, but since I’ve not read about it anywhere else it would be nicer to learn that this is an unsubstantiated rumour. Are you aware of any more authoritative answer — and if the situation may also extend to CPP?

    • David Morris says:

      Hello Nick, there is such a clause in the UK/Canada Social security treaty – however it is very vague. Also, as you only need 10 years of residence in Canada to qualify for OAS, it likely doesn’t affect many people. It does not apply to CPP, which is a contributory system – only OAS

      • I’m a bit confused about this – I understood that you need to have lived in Canada for at least 10 years (after age 18) to qualify for any portion of the OAS but that the amount you receive actually depends on the number of years you have lived here. On the Service Canada website it looked as though I would qualify for 32/40ths of the full amount but if they deduct years I have paid voluntary NICs to the UK that would drop to 21/40ths ……. a substantial difference given that the UK pension I am “buying” will be frozen.

        • David Morris says:

          Hello Sarah, they will not deduct years that you paid into other pension systems. Your OAS pension is solely based on the number of years you lived in Canada.

  14. Hi,

    Thanks for all your help CABP – well worth the membership!

    I got a letter from HMRC to say that they have accepted my application to pay voluntary Class 2 NICs (yay!). They included a table showing how much I need to pay to catch up, but no payment coupon or other obvious way of getting the money to them. I checked their link http://www.gov.uk/pay-class-2-national-insurance/overview for instructions, but it’s still not entirely clear, to me anyway. Can anybody tell me exactly how to make payments from the USA?

    Many thanks!
    Brenda

    • David Morris says:

      Hello Brenda, in your membership package there is a document called MYCABP. In there, there is a section on how to make payments from abroad, including the US

  15. Hello

    I worked in England for 5 years and then set up home in Canada (I have been in Canada for 25 years), I am 50 years of age. Do I qualify to pay into a UK pension if so how do I go about it and how much will I need to pay?

    • David Morris says:

      Hello Neelam, you will need 10 years of pension contributions to be eligible for a partial UK pension. The good news is that you are able to make voluntary contributions from Canada which will get you at least to the 10 year level and more. This is worth doing financially. Don’t delay though, as the earlier you start, the more years you can purchase

  16. Hello David, I am a member (32611).

    Background: I receive a Category A UK State Pension. My wife receives a Category B UK State Pension; 60% of the amount I receive. We began receiving these pensions in March 2016.

    Question: Were I to pre-decease my wife could she then receive 100% of the amount of my state pension for the remainder of her life?

    If the answer is yes, can you point me to an authoritative document that explains her entitlement.

    Thanks for all you do.

  17. Hello David, I have 2 years of NI contributions (2015-2016) and I am 41.Before 2015 I was not in the UK. For full pension I need 35 years, which is not possible for me now (max 27). Can I pay voluntary contributions for the years before 2015? For example 2005-2015? How much will it cost and how do I inform HMRC that I am paying for those years?
    Thank you in advance

    • David Morris says:

      Hello Antonio, you should be able to make some back contributions, for at least 6 years.
      If you join us, we will send you a complete information package on how to pay from abroad, and how to potentially qualify for Class 2 contributions – which are cheaper

      • Thank you David.So even if my NI number was given last year, I can still pay voluntary 6 years back (no NI number existed that time)? I am in UK now, I was abroad before 2016. In 2016 I moved to UK first time. I can still pay Class 2? I just want to be sure that NI number submission date is not important for paying backwards voluntary contribution. I thought this might be not acceptable by HMRC.

        • David Morris says:

          Hi Antonio, all I can suggest is that you try. Your situation is a little tricky, and I am honestly not sure what the rule will be. I can not find any document that specifies the scenario you describe.

  18. Rashpal singh says:

    Hi David I had a letter saying I could back pay 9yrs from year 2006-2007 through 2014-2015 without penalty before 5th April 2019 and a separate letter to pay year 2015-2016. I sent these payments together listing what years I was paying at class 2 rate which they had confirmed I had been accepted at.

  19. Rashpal singh says:

    Hi David on the13th of June I asked for a pension statement which I got and it informed me I had 16 qualifying years up to the tax year 2014/15 . I the sent 10 years of voluntary class 2 nics in July this year then I asked for another pension statement thinking I would have 26 qualifying years now. But the pension statement I just received says I now have 22qualifing years . I do have some time in here when I was contracted out . If the first statement was right I should have 26 qualifying years .how do I query this I would be grateful if you could shed some light on this situation please. Thanks .

    • Monsieur Rioux says:

      My pension forecast is about £30 short of the full pension under new rules and it says I have 32 years. I’m 59 and can claim from age 66.

      That looks like I could buy three years to get the full rate – they have confirmed I’m eligible for the lower rate – or buy one year to get £10 more or two years to get £20.

      But I have been invited to buy ten years. Why? It actually looks as if buying the missing three years doesn’t make up the £30 (3 year) shortfall.

      • David Morris says:

        Hello Monsieur Rouge, you should not buy any more years than is needed to get the full pension – which is 35 years. You can normally buy missing years, and they usually identify the years that are missed, provided it is within the last 6 years. I don’t know why you would have been invited to buy 10 years

        • Monsieur Rioux says:

          Thanks.

          I was actually surprised they said I was eligible to pay the lower rate as reading the guidance it didn’t seem like I was.

          I’ve seen other replies here mentioning 10 years. Maybe it’s a general thing.

          Thanks again.

    • David Morris says:

      Hello Rashpal, can you tell me why you sent 10 years of voluntary payments ? Did the DWP tell you that you were eligible to back pay 10 years ?

  20. Irene Doris Johnson says:

    I worked from the age of 15 until I retired when I was 58. After having my 1st child I paid “married woman’s stamp” which I believe was half the total stamp, until 18 years before I retired when I started to pay a fill stamp.I also paid a full stamp from the age of 15 until 19. When I had my 1st child I had 10 months off, and the same with my 2nd 10 months off, the
    I worked part time for the rest of the time up until 18 yrs before I retired then full time. My question is should I have anything for child raising years, as my full pension is only £77.49. ( my Sister who only worked around 10 years in her whole life has a full pension because the social security paid a full stamp for her while she stayed at home) Should I be able to claim any more??

    • David Morris says:

      Hello Irene, you would be eligible for child rearing credits towards your pension. What is your date of birth ?

  21. Linnel Thorne says:

    I was born 13 November 1954 and worked in the UK for 3 years 1979 to 1982) and paid into the NI. I received a letter from Govt UK with my pension number saying I have only 3 years contribution and need 10 to receive a pension. Can I pay back into my pension for 7 years to top it up? and how much would the payments be? and where do I send this money to?

    Would greatly appreciate your help,
    Linnel

    • David Morris says:

      Hello Linnel, yes, you will need 10 years to qualify. The good news is that you are able to make both back payments and future payments which will get you there.
      If you join us we will send you a complete information package on how to begin. This will include details on how much the payments are, where to send them etc

  22. My mother (Australian, DOB 1937) married my English father and worked for a number of years in the UK in the 1960s. They currently reside in Australia where my father receives a UK state pension. Is there a possibility that my mother is entitled to a category B pension please?

    Appreciate your help,
    John

    • David Morris says:

      Hello John, yes, your mother is entitled to a Category B pension. The good news is that the entitlement will be backdated to when she reached retirement age. If you join us, we will send you a package of information by email, on how to go about applying.

  23. Rashpal Singh says:

    Hello David I have just received a state pension estimate from DWP .it says I have 16 qualifying years and my current pension estimate is 63.63 a week , because I was contracted out I have a COPE estimate of 41.67 a week. I have had a pension estimate from my contracted out pension of 74.62 a week if I were retiring now.My pension scheme has said that at normal retiring age my cope will be 105.045 a week. I have already made 10 more years of voluntary contributions which have not been included in this estimate. Does this mean if I receive more from cope than the government will reduce my state pension portion or will I still receive 63.63 a week plus my 105.045 .Thanks Rashpal.

    • David Morris says:

      Hello Rashpal, I will have to get back to you on that.

    • David Morris says:

      Hi Rashpal, Your state pension of £63.63 (increasing to £103.39 with 10 extra payments) is unaffected by the £105.045 paid by your company plan. Any extra payments made for years post 6/4/2016 will increase your state pension by £155.65/35 = £4.45 per week.

  24. Rashpal singh says:

    Hi, David if I apply for my pension from Canada can I have it paid into a bank account of my choice in the uk or any other country where I will be staying during my retirement. Many thanks .Rashpal.

  25. T.P.Samuel (Mr) says:

    Hi David,

    I have 17 years of NI contributions and I can expect some state pension in March 2021.
    I also understand that Ii can contribute further NI’s under class 3 to enhance my pension.

    With the above in mind, I read a recent article from the GOV.UK. website that. I have an optiom to delay ( defer) my pension by every 9 weeks or so to get a extra 1% ( sub. to a max of 5.8% per year). There is also a “triple lock of 2.5%” every year before you start receiving the actual pension
    Under the current circumstance of frozen pensions for us, it is wiser to defer the pension or continue the Class 3 NI if one can afford it.?

    Appreciate your feedback.

    Thank you

    TPSamuel
    Malaysia

    • David Morris says:

      Hello TP, I believe that under the new legislation, you will not receive any triple lock increases for that period. You will still get the deferment increase. That makes it less attractive

  26. Rashpal singh says:

    Hi David how can I check if a recent payment of voluntary nics has been received and applied to my ni record thanks. Rashpal

    • David Morris says:

      Hi Rashpal, you would have to check with the Dept of Works and pensions, by mail or telephone. They do take a while to process payments, but you can always call to confirm

  27. Nicola Gilman says:

    Hi David,

    I have received confirmation from HM Revenue & Customs that they have accepted my application to pay voluntary contributions (NICS) and they have included the amounts I can pay. I’ll send a bank draft to the address on their letter. The question is, who do I make the bank draft payable to? Is it just HM Revenue & Customs?

    Thank you,
    Nicola

  28. Rashpal singh says:

    Hi Dave my wife retires in 2023 we have been informed that she has four years of class one contributions, and she can pay voluntary class three contributions from 2006- 2016. If we pay these would she get a partial pension based on the new rules. Thanks Rashpal .

    • David Morris says:

      Hello Rashpal, yes. She needs 10 years of contributions to qualify, so she should be good. Don’t delay, though, as she will lose those years as time goes by.

  29. I just made a one year voluntary contribution to my British State Pension, and have received notification that I now qualify for a small amount. However, I just learned (via the Internet) that “There is a clause in the Canada / UK social security treaty that says that any year you are insured by UK National Insurance will not count as a year of residence in Canada for OAS purposes”. Is this true? Because if it is, I may have lost 1/40th of my (indexed) OAS in return for contributing almost $1300 CA (of after taxed money) to HMRC in order to receive a very small (non indexed) pension.

    I came to Canada in Jan 1976, and will turn 65 in Oct 2016, which is a total of 40 years 9 months. So, if I lose a year due to my voluntary NI contribution, I will now only have 39 years and 10 months to count towards my OAS eligibility. I may not lose a lot of money, but I’m not sure I would have made the additional one year contribution if I’d known about this rule prior to doing so.

    • David Morris says:

      Hello Dave, if you were born before July 1952, and lived in Canada since July 1 1977, then you qualify for the full OAS, regardless of anything else.

  30. Ian King says:

    Hello David.

    I came to Canada in 1982 with 17 years of NIC’s under my belt, working in the RAF and in civilian companies. I didn’t find out about the ability to top up my British pension until many years after living here. I made the required contributions at class 3 level and was informed by the pension office that I had reached 30 years in 201. .I assumed that I could no longer make voluntary contributions but it seems from some of the comments above that I might be able to contribute to the missed years up to 2013 when I turned 65 and began to get my pension. I’m currently getting 109.99 pounds per week.
    Any information you have on whether I can make additional contributions would begreatly appreciated.

    • David Morris says:

      Hello Ian, you can’t contribute more than the maximum. (well you can, but there is no point as it doesn’t get you any extra pension, so it is wasted). Your maximum is 30 years, so there is no point in contributing further.

    • I czme to Canada in 1979, I worked in the Uk for 13 years…I thought, like Canada, the pension age for women wa 65…Turns put because I was born in 1951, I should have been entitled when I was 62 years old….I got a letter back from the Britih pension servce saying the would only pay me from August 2015…Is this correct, looks lije I lost out on a few years of osyments….Is there any way to fight this….Any help welcome…Thanks…e..

      • David Morris says:

        Hello Ellen, your pension is payable from the date you reached pension age. if you were born in 1951, that would be sometime in 2012.
        You have a choice of a lump sum payment, or taking a bigger monthly amount.
        Absolutely challenge them on this. They have given you incorrect information – which happens somntimes

  31. Rashpal singh says:

    Hi my wife retires in 2023 she has been informed that she has four years of national insurance contributions and she can make voluntary contibutions at class 3 from 2006 to 2016 . Our question is would she qualify for a partial pension if she pays these voluntary class3 contributions and would it be worthwhile to her to do so. Thanks

  32. Rashpal singh says:

    Hi I am making voluntary contributions at class 2 . Will I be able to continue at class 2 after 2017 or will I have to convert to class 3 after 2017

    • David Morris says:

      Hello Rashpal, if the new changes go through then Class 2 will no longer exist, and everyone will have to pay Class 3

  33. My husband and I have been paying voluntary class 3 contributions and retire in a couple of years. Is it better or is too late to convert to class 2?

    • David Morris says:

      Hello Lyn, Class 2 is cheaper, but you can’t convert payments that have already been made. The best you can do is apply for Class 2 status for the remaining contribution years. Class 2 is being phased out in 2017 anyway, so you may not get very far with that.

  34. Chae Harlingten says:

    Hi there, my husband was born in Sept 1952 in UK, he has 8 pensionable years. He is turning sixty-five in 2017. He left the UK in 1976 and has lived and worked in Canada since then. Do we need to file any thing with the CPP or OAS in relation to applying for the UK Pension? Does he have to make up the two years missing prior to the year 2017 or can he make one payment this year and one payment next year. Also do we need to know the exact years that he needs to make up or by filling out a pension application form , will they then know those years. Chae

    • David Morris says:

      Hello Chae, you do not need to do anything with CPP or OAS. They are entirely separate. He can make one payment for both years, plus another 4 buy back. You do need to designate which years you are paying for, as each year is tracked separately. So, for example, he can designate his payment for 2015 and 2016

  35. David Morris says:

    Hello Jim, thanks for the membership plug!
    You don’t need to include your SIN number, but you do need to supply the UK National Insurance number.
    You can make a wire transfer from a Canadian Bank, if you provide the with the various codes. You have to make sure that you can provide them with the NI number, so they know which account to apply it to. I think most people send a letter with an International Money Order, just to help ensure that it doesn’t get lost

  36. Hello David

    I was born in the UK in 1984 and lived there until 1995 before moving to canada. I often visit the uk and hold both a British passport and national insurance number. I may look to move back to the UK later in life. Am I eligible to make voluntary contributions and if so how much would it cost per year?

    Thanks

    Ray

    • David Morris says:

      Hello Ray, as you have a national insurance number, you should be able to make voluntary contributions. Current Class 3 contributions are £732.80 per year. You MAY be able to qualify for Class 2, which are quite a bit cheaper, but the Government is considering eliminating that option next year

  37. Nicola Kennedy says:

    Hello, I am looking at the CF83 form to apply to pay voluntary Class 2 or Class 3 contributions. The form asks for a U.K. address – is that required? I left the U.K. 28 years ago and don’t have an address there. Thanks.

  38. Peter Chambers says:

    Hi David,
    I have a really dumb question about the address to send checks to pay voluntary NI contributions. I had a letter from HMRC saying “Our new address in NIC and EO, HM Revenue and Customs, BX9 1AN, UK”. However, the website says the address is “NIC & EO, HMRC, Benton Park View, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE98 1ZZ, UK.”
    Which is correct, please?
    Many thanks for your help!
    Peter

  39. Hi David,
    Thank you for returning my call, but I was out of town.
    I joined, but Looks like I did not get the package.
    I have a statement now saying I have six qualifying years.
    My birth date is may 1951
    I understand that it will be more benificial for me to apply for paying for additional years after April 2016.
    My question,
    1.I am working here. What class will apply to me. What would be the maximum number of years that I can contribute. Am I right in saying 4 plus upto 6 years?
    2. What is the mailing address of the department to send this inquiry?
    3 My wife also has 6 qualifying years birthdate December 1956; How many years she can contribute for?
    – Thank you for your help in advance

    • David Morris says:

      Hello Moez, you should have received the information package by email. When did you join ?
      You reach pension age in May 2016, so you will need 10 years. You have 6 already, and you can make another 6 back payments, so you should be able to get to 10. You can not make any payments after 2016, which is the year you reach pension age, you can only make payments for previous years (up to 6).
      The letter from the Government should have outlined the years you can pay, and the amount of payment.
      Our information package spells all this out in detail.
      Your wife can contribute going forward to 2022, plus make back contributions for 6 years, so she should have approx. 19 years.

  40. Max Harris says:

    I would like to buy back 6 previous years of Class 2 NICs. The CF83 form does not have any method to state which years to buy back. How do I inform HMRC of my intention to buy back 6 previous years?
    Also, going forward, I would like to contribute every year. Do I really have to fill out a CF83 form every year?

    • David Morris says:

      Hello Max, what I have found best is to include a letter specifying which years you are paying. Going forward, sending a brief letter with the payment works fine.

  41. Rashpal singh says:

    Hi David thank you for your prompt reply , I guess what im asking is can I pay voluntary contributions going forward or do I have to wait to back pay them. Thanks Rashpal.

  42. Rashpal singh says:

    Hi, David my wife and I live in Canada we contacted DWP and were told that I have 16 qualifying years and my wife has 4 qualifying years , and we can buy back years from 2006-2007 to year 2014 – 2015 ,if we pay voluntary contibutions for these years, do we have to contact them every year to pay voluntary contibutions till we retire .

    • David Morris says:

      Hello Rashpal, you do not have to pay voluntary contributions going forward. They are voluntary. If you wish to pay them, you simply send a money order, with a covering letter, for the year that you want to pay. You would do that each year that your are eligible for, and wish to pay

  43. Martin deighton says:

    Hi
    I live in Canada and applied for a state pension forecast a couple of years ago.
    I got information back stating that I will be due to reach my state pension age 06 March 2019 with an estimate of 23.12 pounds a week. I was born 07 dec. 1953. I have 6 qualifying years. The is it possible to increase my rate by making contributions and if so, how many years and how much would I have to pay to do this.
    Tx
    Martin

    • David Morris says:

      Hello Martin, you will need 10 years to qualify for any pension, so if you want to receive one, you have to make at least 4 more contributions, otherwise you wont get anything. The good news is that you can make those contributions from abroad. You can make 6 years back payments, plus contribute annually until you reach 2019. That will give you what you need. But don’t delay, otherwise you will end up in 2019 without the minimum you need, and you may not be able to make any back contributions at that point.

  44. Max Harris says:

    I have 6 qualifying years, but my pension statement made no mention buying more years, how much they would be, or whether I would qualify for Cat 2 or Cat 3. How do I find out this information?
    Also, I am trying to figure out whether it is better for me to buy the 6 back years (that we are entitled to do) BEFORE April 2016 or AFTER April 2016. I don’t seem to have the information to work out how it would affect my so-called “starting” allowance in April 2016. Does anyone else have this formula or know whether it makes any difference to buy back now or buy back later?

    • David Morris says:

      Hello Max, when you joined us, you should have received a package called MYCABP. In there are the rules for Class 2 or Class 3 eligibility.
      In terms of buying back years, I would buy them back now – especially at Class 2 rates. You never know when the rules might change, and if you have already bought the years, they can’t take them away from you.

      • Max Harris says:

        I actually called the Pension office today. They advised me to buy back AFTER April 2016 as the rates for Class 2 will definitely be cheaper then.
        It seems the only barrier to eligibility for Class 2 is this word “immediately” to describe working just before leaving the UK. Is there any more info on the interpretation of this?

        • David Morris says:

          Hello Max, I’m afraid they are misinforming you, or didn’t understand your question. The rate you pay to buy back a year is attached to the year that you want to buy back, not whatever the current rate is.
          For example, to buy back 2010 at class 2 would cost £124.80. To buy back 2014 at class 2 would cost £143. Each prior year has a different rate, and you are buying back specific years. It doesn’t matter what the class 2 rate in 2016 is, if you are buying back 2010, you pay the 2010 rate.
          In terms of the definition of “immediately” there is nothing specific defined. Generally if you start work within a week, that usually qualifies

  45. Hi
    I retire in early November 2015..
    I have applied and have received notification my pension will start. November 13th 2015.
    I am paid up until 2013.
    is it too late to pay for 2014 (and possibly 2015) with a bank transfer ?

    • David Morris says:

      Hello David, you can still pay for 2014, but not for 2015. You can’t pay for the year in which you reach pension age.

  46. Hello I have just found your site.
    I am contributing to add years to my pension.
    My question is regarding my dependent spouse. I wont be eligible for pension until 2024. My husband turns 65 next month.
    As it is before the changes take place. is he eligible for a dependent spouse pension?
    We are on a limited income so we are checking everything that may help.
    He is a Canadian who has never worked in the UK.

    • David Morris says:

      Hello Liz, yes your husband will be entitled to a spousal pension. However, it will only be based on any contributions you have made up to April 2016. Any eligible years you have after that date will not be counted towards his pension.

      • OK thank you so much for responding – that will be 13 years – not much but something. I enquired by letter and they responded with no he wont be entitled. Do you have any advice on how to approach this again?
        I will be joining this group!!

        • David Morris says:

          Hello Liz, sorry for the delay. Your husband is definitely entitled to a spousal pension – but not until you reach pension age too. perhaps that is where the confusion is.

  47. Alan Davidson says:

    I am resident in Ontario, have been paying Class 2 NICs for some years now and have paid up and including the 2014/15 UK tax year. I am approaching UK pension age and am unclear for which current/future UK tax years I am able to make a further Class 2 NIC payment. I will be 65 in February 2016.

  48. I received notice that I could buy back 6 additional years in Feb 2014 in Cl 3. It also said I might be eligible to pay Cl. 2 contributions instead of Class 3, which as we know are cheaper. As I missed the 2014 deadline, I wrote to the government February 28, 2015, giving them information they requested regarding Class 2 contributions, and have been waiting ever since for a reply and have now missed the 2015 deadline and 2 buyback years. I have made 2 phone calls as well in March and in July with no results. Any suggestions?

    • David Morris says:

      hello Phil, I can only suggest telephoning and asking to speak to a supervisor. You should be able to get the deadline extended because it is their delay that caused you to miss it.

  49. Rashpal singh says:

    Hi ,my wife worked in England for 2years could she make voluntary contributions to get her own new state pension.Thanks I am a member would really appreciate your help

    • David Morris says:

      Hello Rashpal, thanks for being a member. What is your wife’s date of birth ?

      • Rashpal singh says:

        Hi David my wife’s date of birth is August 10th 1956.My date of birth is November 14th 1957 and I worked in England from July 1974 till January 1990 I am going to pay voluntary contibutions at class 2 to make up all my shortfalls. Thank for your quick response.

        • David Morris says:

          Hello Rashpal, for your wife to be eligible to make voluntary contributions from abroad, she needs to have worked in the UK immediately before leaving AND had previously lived in the UK for 3 years in a row, or made 3 years of NI Contributions.
          If your wife worked there for two years, depending on the dates, it may have spanned 3 years of contributions. The first thing she needs to do is get a pension statement from the DWP to see what she has been credited with.

  50. Robin Ellis says:

    Hello David. I first wanted to thank you for your help. After joining, I followed your instructions and eventually got a letter from HMRC informing me that I had 6 qualifying years on record (I thought I had 4) and a table of payments I could make to add the last nine years. I made the payment by wire transfer in GBP, which turned out to be quite expensive, plus the receiving bank in the UK took 15GBP as a fee, so I’m still 15GBP short. I noticed that you suggest using an international money order. Don’t those only come in CAD and USD? How do you avoid falling foul of exchange rate changes?

    Also, is there any way I can get a statement of my account online, like you can with CPP?

    Once again, thank you for your help. I had no idea I was eligible for a UK pension and it is going to make a big difference for me in a few years.

    • David Morris says:

      Hello Robin, glad to be of help. You can get an International Money order in GBP at any Canadian Bank. Wire transfer is expensive and unnecessary. You will have to pay an exchange commission at the Canadian Bank branch too. There is no way round that, but the transaction fee for a money order is much less than the wire transfer.
      You can not yet get an online statement of account. Hopefully that will happen at some point.

  51. susan morgan says:

    I’m 73 and after university in the uk worked in the civil service for 3 years in the UK in the early 60’s before emigrating to Canada. Is it worth me investigating the potential of the standard old age pension and/ or a civil service pension. Thanks

    • David Morris says:

      Hello Susan, unfortunately you do not qualify for a UK State pension at all. I can’t speak to the civil service pension, but it would be very unlikely.

  52. Hi David,
    I’m 45 years old born Oct 1969 and have been in Canada for 23 years. I have a confirmed 8 years contribution to HM revenue and I was sent a chart outlining the payments I can make to top up my pension as a class three contributor. Included with the chart is an application to apply as a class 2 contributor and It appears that I may be able to contribute toward a class 2 pension. I’m just curious as to why the class 2 is so much cheaper than a class 3 and what the disadvantages of contributing to a class 2 pension would be when compared to a class 3.

    I have not started to contribute yet because I would like to know what my options are. Also I’d be interested to know how people are making their payments to HMR. I’m not sure how I would do this.

    Thank you for all you are doing, it is very much appreciated.

    Jason.
    Member #29619

    • David Morris says:

      Hello Jason, you definitely want to make Class 2 payments. There is no difference in terms of the pension eligibility you would get, and Class 2 is much cheaper. It was originally intended for self employed individuals, but many people also qualify by moving abroad.
      In terms of making payments, the only real option from Canada is to send an International Money order, along with the form or letter applying to make voluntary contributions for the specific years identified.

  53. Dear David,

    My parents have just returned to Canada after living in the UK. We were all born in the UK and we emigrated to Canada in 1968. my parents returned to England in 1985 and resided there until May 2014. We are all Canadian citizens. They are still receiving a partial UK pension. They question is my Mum and Dad hold British passports which are due to expire in Jan2016. My Dad thinks they should renew their UK passports as it might effect their UK pensions.
    Is this correct?

    • David Morris says:

      Hello Janet, I can assure you that their passport has nothing to do with eligibility for their UK pension. You actually don’t even have to be a UK citizen. All that matters is that they worked there. They have nothing to worry about.

  54. Kim Dennis says:

    Hi
    I was born in 1959 and worked in England from age 16 to 19 (3 years) before emigrating to Canada in 1978. I am self employed. Will I be able to pay 7 years of voluntary payments at the lower rate to reach the minimum 10 years. I will be 56 this year. I am just wondering if it is worth applying for my British pension at all.

    Thanks

    Kim

    • David Morris says:

      Hello Kim, you reach pension age in 2025, so you certainly have time to make enough voluntary contributions to qualify for a minimum pension. I can only tell you that buying additional years is a very good financial deal, especially if you qualify for the lower class 2 rate. Obviously, not everyone has the money available to do this, but if you have, it is a better investment than just about anything else.

  55. Kenny Leonard says:

    A quick question if you are 65 and still working and earning a wage can you claim your British pension I live in Canada?

  56. Kevin Fuller says:

    Hi There,

    Just found your site and have a question.

    I should start receining the new state pension in late Jan. 2015.

    On the original application, I did not fill in the vacation time spent in Britain section, as I do not have proof of my visits. I did once a year visit my parents for 2-3 weeks, for approx. 15 years. I do not even have my passports stamped, as being a British citizen, upon arrival in the UK the officers just waved me through.

    My question is, would it be worth contacting the British Pension Dept. and provide the additional information regarding my visits, and could these visits result in a higher pension?

    Best regards
    Kevin Fuller
    Port Coquitlam, BC.

    • David Morris says:

      Hello Kevin, your visits won’t affect the pension you receive, so there isn’t really any point in advising them.

  57. Maria Gravett says:

    Hi David
    I have been told I would be eligible for partial pension in Sept 2019. I have been working in Canada since 1989 and am still working. How does one qualify to make the class 2 contributions. I worked for a total of 7 years from 1972 to 1980.
    Born March 54. Would it be worth paying contributions for the last 6 years and the next 5 years until I would be able to draw on the pension.
    Thanks Maria

    • David Morris says:

      Hello Maria, if you join us, we will provide a package of information, including how to qualify for Class 2 payments. From a financial point of view, it is an excellent investment to purchase as many years as possible for your pension. It will obviously depend on whether you have the cash available to make the payments, but there is no question about them being worthwhile or not. They absolutely are worthwhile

  58. John Auchie says:

    Hello David,
    I’m in the process of completing the application for my British pension and with regards to the question of “Are you or your husband, wife or civil partner getting any social security benefits from another country or State Social Security Authority or waiting to hear about a claim for a benefit”, Can you please tell me if they are referring to CPP and/or OAS which I would obviously have to declare as I’m receiving CPP and have sent in the form they sent me for OAP.
    Thanks for your help and guidance in these matters.
    Regards,
    John Auchie

    • David Morris says:

      Hello John, yes they are referring to CPP and OAP. It has no effect on your claim. If you lived in Europe, it does matter, because pensions are harmonized between EU countries.

  59. I have been receiving a small British pension since 2000 when I reached the age of 60 years. Can I still make voluntary contributions to increase my pension?
    Being domicile in Canada, I really appreciate the work that is being done to try and correct the frozen pensions that ex-pats receive. Keep up the good work and maybe one of these days the policy will change – it really is the most unfair situation by the British government!!
    Many thanks.
    Kindest regards,
    Ann Grose

  60. Linda Mendoza says:

    Hello John,
    I’ve just joined and like many others, I would like to know how to apply for the extra amount of pension when visiting the UK. I’m usually there one or two times annually and I’m currently planning my next trip. Any help and advice would be most appreciated. Thank you, Linda.

    • David Morris says:

      Hello Linda, thank you for joining. You should be receiving a package of information early next week. Included in that package is a document called MYCABP that gives you all kinds of useful information, including how to apply for the uprated pension for the time you are in the UK.

  61. Marian Goodson says:

    Hi David
    My question is regarding Voluntary Payments do you have to Apply or make payments before your retirement age
    I reach my pension age on 6th September 2014?
    I requested my Pension forecast at the end of June and I have just received it. I only have 5years of credits and
    unfortunately they did NOT include any information regarding Voluntary Payments I was told this morning it may take another four weeks to send it to me I am concerned that I won’t be able to payback for 6 years to improve my pension.
    Regards
    Marian
    Member #29799

    • David Morris says:

      Hello Marian, no, you don’t have to apply to make voluntary payments before you reach pension age. You should get a notification about this, and you will have time to make those payments

  62. Steve Briggs says:

    Hi David,
    I was born in UK in 1961.
    I enlisted in the British Military in 1977 until 1984 when I emigrated to Canada.
    Do I qualify for anything.

    • David Morris says:

      Hi Steve, yes you do. Your service would give you approx. 7 years of NI contributions. You need 10 to qualify for a partial pension, but the good news is that you have the ability to make voluntary contributions. You will reach pension age sometime in 2028, so you can make annual voluntary contributions until then, plus you can buy back some years. That would get you pretty close to a full pension.

  63. Michael D says:

    It looks like I qualify for a British Pension. I was born 11th Feb 1951 and I am Male. I was born in Scotland and spent most of my education there. I immigrated to Canada in 1966. I returned to the U.K in 1968 and worked all over. I joined the British Army In 17-06 1969 and left the Army in 3rd Sept 1969 due to my Fathers ill health I then returned to Canada and stayed until the present date. I retire on old age pension 11th Feb 2016. From what I see on your site I qualify and my be able to make top up payments. I was impressed enough to join CABP. Thank you in advance for any info you can supply me.

    • David Morris says:

      Hello Michael, providing you worked for 1 year, you qualify. You can also make top up payments, and buy back at least 6 years. Thank you for joining us. You should receive your information package next week. You can always call if you have any questions

  64. Frederick Roles says:

    I m now 91 years of age and have been receiving the British Pension since the age of 65. (I think1987) worked from 1938 to 1940 in London and then spoent 5+ years in the RAF< I returned to England from overseas in 1946 and worked in London until emigrating to Canada in 1957 where i have lived since. I have visited England twice for brief periods.
    I belive that I get 40% of what was the ratein 1987 and would be interested to know if it will everincrease before i pass away. It has certainly not gone up so far. I get roughly $250 a month. Your truly Fred Roles

    • David Morris says:

      Hello Fred, I don’t know when we will win, but I do know we won’t give up. We are making progress. We just have to keep fighting. The more members we have, the better chance we have. Thanks

  65. Mrs. Margaret Anne Risdon says:

    I would like to become a member of this organization. I have been collecting my British Pension for the past 15 years or so, Still at the same rate, of course. I am a Widow for 11 years. Please let me know how I can join. I heard about you yesterday on Coronation Street, wouold you believe. Ardent fan of this show, of course!!!!!!!!

    Thank you
    Margare Anne

    • David Morris says:

      Hi Margaret Anne, thank you for wanting to join us. We are really fighting hard to get all of our pensions indexed like they should be. You can certainly join online on the website, using a credit or debit card, by clicking on this link and following the instructions. https://www.britishpensions.com/joinrenew/

      Alternatively, you can simply call our office at 416 253 6402 (toll free is 1 888 592 3964), and they can sign you up over the phone

      We really appreciate your support

  66. Dot MacGillivray says:

    I was born in 1951 left England in 1971 worked for five yrs but can not find my social security number how do I claim

    • David Morris says:

      Hello Dot, we can help with this if you join us. Basically, you meet to contact the DWP, and give them your last address or place of employment

  67. Elizabeth Forster says:

    I did not know that if I visited England my pension would increase during the time that I was there. I was in England for four weeks in March 2014. I receive 33 pounds a week and I am presently living in Alberta ,Canada. I doubt very much that this could be retroactive. Oh, well, will know for next time. If I went back to England for a year to live would I be able to claim more pension money. Just Curious !! davelizf@telus.net

    • David Morris says:

      Hello Elizabeth, yes, your pension would be uprated if you went back to the UK for a year, or even for a week.
      If you join us, we can tell you how to claim the increase

  68. Dawn Foster says:

    I am currently receiving my British Pension. I have been told that if I visit the UK for at least 14days and provide my boarding pass, I will receive an increase payment for the 14 days or more that I can prove I was in England. Is this correct. I live in Canada.
    Thank you

    • David Morris says:

      Hello Dawn, that is correct. You don’t even have to have been there two weeks. As long as you were there for 1 week, which includes the day you normally receive your pension on. It also applies to anywhere in Europe

  69. marguerite partington says:

    Hi David,
    We are visiting the UK in June for three weeks, I know you’ve mentioned it before , but what do we need to do to get our pensions increased for this time period.
    Thanks
    Marguerite
    Memb.32160

  70. I was born on 16 April 1953. Both my husband and I had worked in the U.K. before settling down in Canada in the year of 1998. I know that I may still have about two years before reaching my retirement age.
    1. What can I do if I want to buy back contribution years? or make voluntary contribution? Is there any restriction?
    2. How can I obtain a statement which tells me how many years do I have?
    3. If my husband and I join your membrship, shall we join as a couple?

    Thank you.

    • David Morris says:

      Hello Lucy,
      If you join us, we can give you a detailed document that answers all your questions. You can certainly join as a family, and only pay one membership. We will be glad to assist you get the pension you are entitled to. You can join online right from the website. Once you do, we will send you an email package of information, that includes you questions about making back contributions and getting a pension statement

  71. Marian \k.M.Baird says:

    I am widowed now. Will my U.K. pension be increased?

    • David Morris says:

      Hello Marian, this is a difficult question because it depends on your and your husbands circumstances. It depends on whether you were getting a spousal pension or a pension based on your own contributions, and on when you were widowed, and on whether your husband was receiving a British pension

  72. Mike McGinty says:

    David,

    Firstly I would like to thank you for your continued efforts to attempt to redress this blatant inequity which unfairly disadvantages UK pensioners living overseas, who are arguably already financially advantaging the Uk government by not relying on many of the sevices their taxes and NI funded. I was disappointed when the final court verdict was recieved but I see that you are now attempting to influence the UK government in other ways. Keep up the good work!

    I am not yet a pensioner or Candian permanent resident. Next year I will retire from the Army, aged 47 and after 28 years service, to settle in Canada. Applying my information into the UK government pensions calculator it appears to suggest that I will recieve the full 30 years, which i would be interested to confirm. I am interested, however, in finding out information about my wife’s circumstances.

    Though I am not completely sure as I don’t know how much work has to have been done in any given FY, I believe that she has accumulated about 16 years of accumulated pension. She has missed some contribution years due to being a stay at home mother and some others for accompanying me overseas as a service wife. I am attempting to determine whether it makes sense for me to buy additional years and at what rate I might be eligible to do so.

    Is this the kind of thing that you can help me with in reasonable detail if I join?

    Mike

    • David Morris says:

      hello Mike, thanks for your comments. We are very dedicated to this, and are all volunteers.
      In terms of your question, absolutely we can help with this. We provide you with a detailed member package of information immediately on joining, plus we give regular updates on what is going on. Our office is also able to help with member questions about any aspect of the UK state pension.
      Your wife may also be eligible for NI credits for the years she spent as a stay at home mother. We can also give you info about the financial impact of buying back years, to help with your decision.

  73. A. Thatcher says:

    I have been on the same pension for 12 years – is there any possibility that it could be increaces. It is minimal 79 Pounds a wweek.

    • David Morris says:

      Once you start collecting your pension, you can no longer increase it. The reason that it isn’t increasing every year is because the British Government discriminates against pensioners living in some countries. If you lived in the US, you would be getting an annual increase. In Canada, you don’t. We believe this is unjust. We are a group of volunteers working hard to get the Government to stop its discrimination, and give pensioners living in Canada the same annual increase that they get living in many other countries.
      If you join us, you are helping us with that fight.

      • John Auchie says:

        Hello David,
        I will reach retirement age next February with 26 years of contributions. 13 of those years were paid through voluntary contributions. my question to you is, if I choose to pay the remaining 4 years to collect a full state pension, do I have to do that before next February or I can I still do it after I start collecting my pension?
        Thank you for all the work you and your team does and I applaud your dedication to the cause.
        Regards, John – membership # 24569

        • David Morris says:

          Hello John, thanks for your continued support. You can continue to make voluntary contributions after you start collecting your pension, however normally there are time limits. You have to make a top up voluntary contribution within 6 years of the end of the calendar year that you are making the contribution for. So, if you are contributing for the 2013 calendar year, you have until 2019. Your pension forecast statement should tell you which years you have already paid for, and which years were not paid for. If those unpaid years are more than 6 years old, you can’t make voluntary contributions for them. The way the system works is that you have to make a contribution for each and every year, and if you missed a specific year you can only make a contribution for that year if it is within the last 6 years.
          In your particular situation, because you will reach pension age between April 2008 and April 2015, you will have a one time opportunity to buy up to 6 additional years, and you have 6 years in which to make those payments – so you are good

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