Is UK pension legislation changing?

Yes! In January 2013, the UK Government introduced a White Paper set of proposals to make significant changes to the pension system. These proposals are expected to undergo more changes before becoming law. They will only affect people who reached pensionable age after April 2016. People who reach pensionable age prior to that are not affected. The White Paper is very long and complicated, but the main impact for people in Canada is

  • The amount of the basic pension will increase by approx. 30%

  • A minimum of 10 years of contributions will now be required to be eligible for any pension, instead of 1

  • 35 years of contributions will be needed to get the maximum pension payout, instead of 30

  • Spousal pensions will no longer be allowed

If you reached pensionable age after 2016, you will need a minimum of 10 years of contributions to qualify for any pension. That means it is critical to find out as soon as possible how many years you already have accumulated, plus how many voluntary contributions you can make to bring you up to at least that total, so that you do not lose out

Don’t delay getting that information !


  1. Would you know if private pensions received in Canada from the UK, are the same as the state pension in that they will not be index linked? I can receive my pension from BT but if I choose not to receive the index linked increases, I have the option to take higher annual pension now and lower later (I am assuming this means index linking). If i am not going to receive the index link increase anyway, I might as well take the higher option now.
    Thank you for your help.

    • David Morris says

      Hello Karen, the rules for private pensions are set for each pension plan individually. You would need to contact the personnel office of your employer

  2. Hello My wife has nine qualifying years (work and child rearing) we moved to Canada in 1987 and are currently looking at retirement options, we understand you need 10yrs to qualify and were wondering if we can buy extra year(s) for my wife ??.

    • David Morris says

      Hello Richard, yes you can buy additional years for your wife, and it is absolutely worth doing. Otherwise she will lose the nine years she already contributed

      • it gets very confusing talking to UK pension people you fill in all the forms they tell you to fill in then wait up to 10 weeks for replies and then have to phone them, Then everyone you talk to tells you something different and maybe you get lucky and get passed onto someone who knows. You might then get assigned an international case worker but no why to contact them so you take a vacation day and give the a time to call you and hope they call. They don’t exactly make it easy for people do they LOL.

        • or they don’t call this just happened to me on Friday, now if i wasn’t to follow thru at my place of work i would be in trouble

  3. Demetrio Priestyeski says

    Hello Carol,
    I worked 18 years full time from 1978 through to 1995 in UK.

    We then emigrated to Canada.
    I plan to retire in 2027 at age of 65.
    Can I boost my UK pension entitlement by making contributions to UK now?

    What about my wife?
    She worked for 15 years in UK until 1995, and plans to retire in 2020.
    Can she boost UK entitlement?

    • David Morris says

      Hello Demetrio, absolutely you both can boost your UK pension my making contributions from Canada. The sooner you start doing that the better. If you join us, we will send you a complete package of information on how to go about doing that

  4. Catherine Novak says

    Hello – I was born in 1963 and am currently 55 yrs old. I was born in UK and worked there from age 18 until 24. If I want to top up the missing years to get 10 yrs of contributions can I do it before the April, 2019 deadline? thanks Catherine

    • David Morris says

      Hello Catherine, you can go back 6 years to make a payment for any year, and yes, you can make a lump sum payment for all missing years

  5. Garry Brogan says


    I was in the Royal Navy from 1974 – 1997. I moved to Canada in ’97. I was born in September ’57.

    I have 2 questions, firstly when would I be eligible for UK’s OAP, and secondly will my Forces pension affect/be affected by claiming OAP?

    • David Morris says

      Hi Garry, your pension date for the UK state pension is September 2023. With regard to your second question, your state pension is not affected by any other pensions you may have.

  6. Question: I moved to Canada in 2016, and I paid NI contributions for 14 years before moving here. My wife similarly made NI contributions for 12 years before moving here.

    I now work in Canada and pay CPP.

    My question is this…Should my wife and i pay voluntary NI contributions in the uk (at class 2 – at £150 per year for 2015/16/17/18), or does my years of CPP contributions count in the uk?

    And when i one day retire do i get two pensions, a UK one and a Canadian one???

    And If i moved back to the UK after working here for 5 years, what would happen to the cpp contributions that I made?

    • David Morris says

      Hello Daniel, your CPP contributions do not count towards a UK Pension. It is a great deal financially to pay voluntary contributions, especially at the Class 2 rate if you can get it. Yes, when you retire, you will get two pensions – CPP and the UK state pension. If you move back to the UK, your CPP contributions still count towards a Canadian pension.
      The only time that CPP contributions could count towards a UK pension is if you were temporarily transferred to Canada. If you emigrated, then they are considered as two separate pensions

  7. Mina Patel says

    Hi – I’m a British Citizen and was born in 1969 and worked in the UK for approximately 6 years before I moved to Canada in 2000 and from reading this thread, I’m short by 4 years is that right? Can I make voluntary payments to make this up to 10 years of eligible contributions? Thanks, Mina

    • David Morris says

      Hi Mina, absolutely you can make up any missing years, and also continue to make contributions until you reach pension age. This will increase any pension you ar entitled to. if you join us, we will send you a complete information package on how to get started

    • Andrew Gibbs says

      Hi..quick question…I worked in the UK from October 1971 to September 1979…just under 8 years
      I will be 65 years old March 2019…can I make up my uk contribution and draw a uk pension or any other options?

      • David Morris says

        Hello Andrew, you will need 10 years to be eligible for a minimum pension. The good news is that you can make up the missing years. If you join us, we will send you a package on what to do next, including getting a pension forecast and making voluntary catchup payments

        • stan townsend says

          we have justed looking into 66 my wife 65.i have7yrs my wife 9yrs working in our early yrs.we have been told there are 2classes of top ups class 2 which is 143 pounds per yr.or class 3.which is 700 pounds per do you know which one you qualify for. thanks stan

          • David Morris says

            Hello Stan, the rules around Class 2 and Class 3 are not very clear. The best procedure is to apply for Class 2 status, and the DWP will review your case

  8. Karen Yip says

    Hi. I was born 1961 and emigrated to Canada 1975. I went back to the UK and worked 1984 -1986 then returned to Canada. So i would need to contribute 8 years to qualify for minimum 10 year pension, is that correct. How would i find out how much i would need to contribute and how much pension i would get yearly. Also where would I find out my NIS number.which I do not seem to have record for.

    • David Morris says

      Hello Karen, yes you should be eligible, and will need 10 years. My best advice is to join us. We will send you a complete information package, including how to get a pension statement, make payments from abroad, and obtain your NI number. You can join us right on this site

  9. Steve Fisher says

    Question on behalf of my elderly Father.
    He does receive a UK pension in Canada –

    He is going to the UK for an extended vacation sometime in September for approx 4 months.

    1,Is it possible to have his UK pension paid into a UK bank account while he is there?
    2,Will he get more money as he is back in the UK?
    3,Who do I contact to arrange all this.

    He’s getting on in years so it’s my job to get this all sorted out.
    Thanks in advance.

    • David Morris says

      Hello Steve, yes – your father can get his pension uprated while he is in the UK. All he has to do is notify the Dept of Works and pensions when he gets there, or just before. If he has a bank account in the UK, he may be able to get it paid into that account, but if he doesn’t have one, he will find it difficult to open an account. You need to have a permanent residence in the UK to open a bank account

  10. luca Loria says

    I worked in the UK from Sept.1976 to Jan.1984, am I eligible for a pension?

    • David Morris says

      Hello Luca, I need to know your date of birth and residence location

    • mary dooley says

      I was born in liverpool in january 1953 and started work at fifteen at one stage i had two jobs a fulltime job and part time job in mecca entertainments… I paid two national insurance stamps and tax… I stopped work in august 1974 and went to live in Southern Ireland were I worked most of my married life. my question is I was eligible for some form of a pension at age 62 which was in november 2015… I have made numerous phone calls but do not seem to be getting anywhere with them , I would like to know what is the best for me to do is it worth while me paying any extra stamps or should i just go ahead and claim my pension it has been there in England since November 2015, I do not find them very helpful or give me much information when I call them ….

      • David Morris says

        Hello Mary, as you live in the EU, you need to contact the pension office in Ireland. they will arrange for any pension accrued in the UK to be paid to you

  11. Hugh Cudden says

    Living in Canada but spending the winter in Arizona. Am I entitled to an increased pension for those 6 months I spend in the US?

    • David Morris says

      Hello Hugh, no. The US is one of the two countries not included in the temporary uprating program. The other is Bermuda

  12. Margaret Serre says

    I came to Canada in 1984 at the age of 31from Northern Ireland. I started work at the age of 16, so I am sure I should be entitled to some sort of British Pension. Now at the age of 63 I would like to apply for my CPP but the form asks for my National Insurance number from Northern Ireland. I have no idea what it is, I have checked my documents and unfortunately I don’t have the number anywhere. How do I go about finding out what my N. I. number was? I’ve checked online but there are no suitable forms for my situation. Any advice would be most helpful.
    Thank you.

    • David Morris says

      Hello Margaret, you are certainly entitled to a UK pension.
      My best suggestion is that you join us. As a member, we will immediately send you an information package that includes details on how to find your NI number, apply for your pension, and even make back contributions to increase it.
      As a fellow “Norn” Irelander, I can really recommend you join. We are a not for profit group, staffed by volunteers, fighting to get our pensions indexed to inflation. You will be helping the cause, and helping yourself at the same time. How good is that ?

  13. James Dennis. Darragh says

    Hi just another quick question,if pension money is deposited into a U.K. Bank acc. Is. income tax declared in the U.K. Or the country of residence ie Canada?
    J d darragh

    • David Morris says

      Hello James, that is a complicated question. It depends on where you are a resident for tax purposes. If you do not normally pay tax in the UK, then your pension amount is taxed in Canada. If you still pay tax in the UK because you have connections there, and other income, then it would be taxed in the UK

  14. James Dennis. Darragh says

    Hello, just finished reading all the great comments,kudos for all the work you are doing to get indexing for our uk pensions.
    I am receiving a state pension with 19 years it possible to buy back years ( I was born in 1946 ) to increase my pension even though I am already receiving a pension? Secondly what is your opinion on the option of paying the new class 3a n.i. Premium to purchase increased pension? Is it good value as it is quite expensive considering the payback relative to class 3 premium.
    Thank you
    J d darragh

  15. Brenda Keegan says


    I just received my NI record today – thanks for your organization’s help, it was well worth joining. Anyway, it shows that I have until 2023 to pay 10 years of catch up with Class 3 payments (expensive!). It also states that I “may” be able to pay the outstanding NICs at the voluntary Class 2 rate and asks for information I’m not sure I can provide as I can’t remember exactly. Among other things, they want to know:

    – the name and address of the last employer in the UK before I went abroad
    – the exact date that employment ended
    – the exact date that I went abroad

    I worked for an agency (whose name/address I can’t remember) that placed me in a company (whose name/address I do remember). I do know the approximate month my employment ended, and the month I left to go abroad – this was all in the early 90’s, hence my amnesia 😉 Do you think they will accept my not remembering exact dates/details? Has anyone else experienced this and gotten anywhere?

    Any advice greatly appreciated.


    • David Morris says

      HI Brenda, to qualify for Class 2, you need to have worked right up to when you left the country (within a week), and started work in your new country within a week. Don’t ask why this rule – nobody knows. They make it difficult to qualify for Class 2, so if you can’t remember dates, they will likely rule against you.
      I’m not sure they check any of this, but that is what they ask for

  16. Jacques foulger says

    Hi: I was born in 1956 in England, and worked for full time for four years in the UK in in the early 1980’s. I emigrated to canada in 1989 and have lived and worked here since then, contributing to Cpp. If I top up my contributions for six years or more to qualify for a UK pension, will that affect my Canadian pension or eligibility for the GIS? Is the amount to top up £700 a year or £140? Does my spouse qualify for any spousal benefit or is this no longer available?…she lived and studied in the UK and worked part time. Don’t know if she ever contributed to NI. how do I go about topping up my contributions.

    Sorry about the barrage of questions, would appreciate your reply

    • David Morris says

      Hello Jacques, your CPP eligibility is not affected in any way by your UK pension. Both pensions are based on contributions made. Your UK pension is considered part of your total income, so it may affect certain benefits such as GIS which are based on total income. The lower amount for contributions is being phased outgoing forward, but you may be able to make back payments with the lower amount. Your spouse will not be eligible for any portion of your pension, but if she made contributions in the UK, she may be able to continue to contribute from Canada.
      If you join us, we will send you a complete info package on how to get started, including the rules for making contributions

      • jacques Foulger says

        Hi David: thanks for your reply. I just joined up and look forward to getting the package.

        I also checked my wife’s contributions on the HMRC website and it says that she has 4 years on her record and needs ten to get any state pension. However, when i check the details year by year there only appears to be one full year of contributions, and two other years that are not fully paid (they show small amounts of contribution and small amounts of NI credits), I can’t see any record of a fourth year! However, do the four years they say they have on record count towards her pension even though it appears that she did not contribute fully in three of those years? If so, does that mean she only needs to contribute or back pay pay for six additional years to qualify for the minimum state pension? She was born in 1958 by the way.

        • David Morris says

          Hello Jacques, you don’t need a full year employment to have it counted as an eligible year. If you earned approx £6,000 in a given year, and made NI contributions on that amount, you would get a full year credit.
          If they say she has 4, then 4 it is. That means she only needs 6 more for a minimum pension. She can contribute more than that, of course, to get more years.
          Thanks for joining us

          • jacques Foulger says

            Hi David: thanks for the reply. I got the package which I read through with interest, and was preparing to apply for a State Pension estimate when I read the following passage in the CF83 document “…If you reach your State Pension age on or after 5 April 2016, you should wait and get a State Pension statement based on the rules of the new State Pension before you decide whether to pay voluntary NICs…

            Do you know if the rules are changing where it may no longer be worthwhile to pay voluntary contributions?

          • jacques Foulger says

            I just read on the internet that there is apparently 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?

            If so, it suggests that if she back pays six years to get to the minimum pension, she will lose the equivalent of 6/40ths of OAS pension.

          • David Morris says

            Hello Jacques, it is unclear how that provision is meant to be applied. I do not know of anyone who made back payments and had their OAS pension reduced as a result. In practice, eligibility for OAS is calculated based on the number of years you reside in Canada. The assumption is made that when you reside in Canada, you are no longer insured by the UK, and are therefore eligible for OAS benefits.

          • jacques Foulger says

            Thanks for your patience in answering all my questions, I do have one more and then I think I might be ready to go!

            I am hoping that I will be able to back pay my missing contributions at the class 2 level. I initially left my job in the UK in 1984 to take up a job offer in South Africa. I stayed there for three years and then returned to the UK for 6 months before finding full time-work in France where I lived for a couple of years before emigrating to Canada. During my brief stint in the UK between jobs, I did some freelance work and also claimed unemployment benefits.

            As far as qualifying for class 2 contributions go, would the date I would be considered to have left the UK be when I moved to South Africa or later, when I moved to France? If it is when I moved to France, I am not sure if I would qualify for Class 2 contributions as I was claiming unemployment benefits directly before leaving.

            thanks for your help.

          • David Morris says

            HI Jacques, the Class 2 rules are complicated, and are not clearly laid out by the Government. I can’t really say as to which date they would use. The only thing you can do is ask for Class 2 and see what happens

  17. Hi, are voluntary pension payments to Britain tax deductable here in Canada with the CRA. And if so, does the British govt. issue a receipt and how? Thanks

  18. Ken Raval says

    Dear David.
    will appreciate the response..
    As per last letter from Uk pension , i have 18 years of contribution ,includes to ups.
    I am planning to retire next year at 65 . i was born Aug/52.
    How much will i receive pls?
    Thanks Kindly

    • David Morris says

      Hello Ken, you will receive a prorated pension based on your eligible years. In your case it will be 18/35ths of the full pension. in 2016, the full pension is £6,200 a year, so you would get at least £3,188 a year

  19. Hi
    I moved to Canada in 1993 after working in the UK for ten years. I paid voluntary contributions each year until I was told some years ago that I had paid sufficient contributions to qualify for a full basic state pension. I was born in Dec. 1959. Do I now need to start paying for more years? I thought I didn’t need to anymore?

    • David Morris says

      hello Sioban, whoever told you that was mistaken. You need 10 years to qualify for a minimum pension, but you need 35 years for the full pension. You will need to make more voluntary contributions, if you want a bigger pension

  20. Nada Rusich says

    I have contacted the Pension centre in the UK and they have sent me a statement showing I have 13 qualifying years. On the statement it also shows that I can pay the voluntary Class 2 contributions from 2006 to 2016, which is 10 years. I am questioning will I be allowed to continue paying the contributions for 2017 up to 2020 when I retire?

    • David Morris says

      Hello Nada, Class 2 payments are being eliminated in 2017, so you will not be able to make future Class 2 payments, only past ones

  21. Barry Pidwell says

    Hi David, I was born in England, DOB 18/11/53. I worked full time in England from July 1970- August 1980 and then emigrated to Canada. I have been retired for just over a year at age 62 and was wondering when I should start to apply for the UK pension?

    • David Morris says

      Hello Barry, you can’t apply for the UK state pension until you reach actual pension age. However, you CAN make voluntary payments from Canada, which will increase your pension. You will need a minimum of 10 years to qualify for a minimum pension. Looks like you may have that, but you want to be sure. You can make back contributions for 6 years, and then make payments going forward until you reach pension age. That will give you a bigger pension. If you are interested in doing that, you should really do it now, as you will lose the 6 years over time.
      If you join us, we will tell you what to do to get started.

  22. Hello David,
    I am Australian citizen (current age 41) who has lived and worked in the UK since 2003.
    I am thinking of returning to Australia at some point over the next few years but would like to ensure that I can claim a British pension once I reach pension age, regardless of where I am living at the time.
    As I have paid National Insurance for in excess of 10 years, I assume that I will be entitled to some form of UK pension but wondered what kind of processes I should put into place once I leave Britain? For example, would it be beneficial for me to continue to make voluntary NI contributions from Australia even if I am no longer living/working in the UK? Is there anything else that I should consider doing in the near future and/or longer term to better my pension returns?
    Thanks so much for your help.
    Kind regards, Steph

    • David Morris says

      Hello Steph, there is no need to do anything specific before you leave. You can certainly continue to pay NI contributions from Australia, which will increase your pension. The pension is payable anywhere in the world, although you should be aware that in Australia (and Canada), once you start collecting your pension, it is frozen. You won’t receive any increases as long as you remain in Australia.
      That’s the reason for our existence – to lobby the British Government to stop the discriminatory policy

    • Alice Hills says

      Hi David,
      I am an American citizen, 47 years old. I was born in England and lived there until age 8. I plan on returning to the UK in my 60s. I have never worked in the UK. Can I enter the pension system now and pay into it so that I can draw a partial pension later?

  23. Karen Irwin says


    I’m paying my NI for the first time, and called HMRC to see if they accept international money orders, and the woman on the line said I had to pay by wire transfer. Is this acurate? I saw a previous post that suggested money orders are cheaper, and I feel more comfortable sending my payment by post. The woman I spoke to didn’t seem too knowledgable or helpful so I thought she may have been mistaken. If they accept UK personal cheques, wouldn’t they accept money orders too?

    Also, would you suggest paying all past voluntary contributions by the time they abolish Class 2? Will they revert overseas NI contributions to Class 3 when they get rid of Class 2, or do you think we’ll still be able to pay a cheaper rate after any changes occur?

    • David Morris says

      Hello Karen, you can certainly pay by international money order. They prefer wire transfer, but you can pay by money order. Class 2 is being completely eliminated, and Class 3 will apply everywhere. I would certainly try and make any back payments with Class 2, as we don’t know whether the Govt will abolish Class 2 retroactively.

  24. Peter Agnew says

    Hi – my wife has between 10-11 years full time NI contributions. She was born in the UK and grew up in Scotland. Her DOB 5/5/61….after working 10-11 years in UK she emigrated to Canada and married me, DOB 02/15/56. I get that I am not eligible for spousal pension….

    MY question – should my wife be doing anything critical before April 5th, 2016 (a few days from now) in order to avoid missing a UK pension benefit? (Like buying years or something?)

    My sincerest thanks, Peter

    • David Morris says

      Hello Peter, your wife doesn’t have to do anything specific. If she wishes, she can choose to make voluntary contributions which will increase her pension. Her pension date is 2028, so she could make another 12 years of contributions, plus buy back 6 years from today. That would give her approx. 28 – 30 qualifying years, which is almost a full pension.

  25. John Bird says

    I was born in Scotland on 26th Mar 1951 and worked from 1966 to 1972 then married and immigrated to Canada with my wife,who was born on 23rd Mar 1953 and worked from 1969 to 1972 we do not know our NI numbers,am I eligible for a partial British pension ? and what about top up ? and will my wife be eligible ? How do we join CABP ? Thank You so much for any help.

    • David Morris says

      Hello John, yes you are indeed entitled to a partial pension. You also still have time to make some back payments to increase it. You could quite possibly end up with a pension that is 50% of the full pension amount. Your wife is also entitled to a partial pension, and she can also increase hers too. Don’t delay with this, as you will lose the ability to make back payments as time progresses.
      You can join CABP right on this site. Just click on the link, and select how you want to join.
      We will send you a complete package on what to do next, including how to get your national Insurance number

  26. jackie gomersall says

    this is more like a question, i m hearing there is a spousal claim of 50% of your husband’s UK pension, but i thought this was only if you were widowed. is this something new, as my sister who is 67 and only paid full stamps for 3yrs 1964/67 and does not receive any E.P. if she would come under this 50% plan.

    • David Morris says

      Hello Jackie, you don’t have to be widowed. Your sister would definitely be entitled to a pension equal to 60% of her husbands. Plus it will be backdated to when she was 60. She will then also get 100% of her husbands pension once he passes.
      You should definitely get her to pursue this. If she joins us, we will send her a package of information on what to do next. The important point is that she has to apply separately, it doesn’t come automatically, and the Government doesn’t go out of its way to inform people of their entitlement.

      • Alan Rhoades says

        A friend of mine claimed 15 months late. He only received back dated pension for a year.

        • David Morris says

          Hello Alan, its likely that he only received a lump sum for a full year, plus an adjusted weekly pension amount for the 3 months

  27. I am a member of CABP. I have gone through the steps of getting confirmation from the UK that I am entitled to UK pension (I was born in 1959). What is not clear to me is how to start the process of making additional voluntary contributions.

    • David Morris says

      Hello Mr Joshi, as a CABP member, you would have received a document called MYCABP. In there, there is a detailed description of how to make voluntary contributions.
      If you have lost the document, you can call the office, or email them, and they will send you a new copy

  28. Jennifer Redshaw says

    Hi there, I am already receiving a pension of around $130/month. Born November 1951 and worked from 1966-1974 when we emigrated to Canada. My husband has received a letter from UK Pensions, stating he will receive 48.51 pounds/wk, which they say is based on his and my UK National Insurance contributions. Will my benefit stop and be included in the 48.51? Thank you.

    • David Morris says

      Hello Jennifer, no, your husbands pension is separate. Your’s will continue. I am surprised that your pension is that low. If you have 8 years of NI Credits, it should be more than that. How many years did they say you had ? Do you know that you can also still make some back contributions which will increase it ?

      • Jennifer Redshaw says

        Hi David,

        Thank you for your response. I checked my dates and did not start working till June 1967 till September 1974. Would this be the reason it is so low?

        • David Morris says

          Hello Jennifer, no – you still have 9 years. Do you know if you opted to pay what used to be called the married woman’s stamp when you were working ?

  29. Hi
    My husband was born in 1964 and I was born 1968, my husband worked in England from age 17 to age 47 until we moved to Canada 6 years ago. I worked full time for approximately 8 years before moving. Are we entitled to uk pensions? Do we need to make extra contributions?

    • David Morris says

      Hello Alison, absolutely you are entitled to UK state pensions. Your husband already has 30 years at least, and only needs 35 to get a full pension. You have 8, but will need 10 to qualify for a minimum pension and 35 for the maximum. The good news is that you both can contribute from Canada to make up any gaps. You can even pay back 6 years, and also contribute each year until you reach pension age. You shouldn’t delay if you want to make those 6 catch-up payments. It is a really good financial deal to do that.
      If you join us, we will send you a package of information on how to get started

  30. Caron Chiles MacMillan says

    Hi, I just signed up to your website tonight.
    I was born in 1964 and worked in the UK for about 7 years before moving to Canada in 1987.
    My partner was born in UK in 1954 and worked in the UK for 8 years before moving to Canada
    in 1978,
    I know my NI number, he does not.
    Would we be eligible for partial pension, if we do the top up from Canada.
    Thank You.
    Caron Chiles MacMillan

    • David Morris says

      Hello Caron, thanks for joining us ! Yes, both of you would be eligible for a state pension, providing you make enough back payments to get to a minimum of 10 years. You are certainly able to do that from Canada, and you have enough time. You can actually get more than the minimum needed, which us even better.
      If you haven’t received the information package from us yet, you will get it within a day or two. That will tell you how to go about finding out NI Numbers, plus how to make contributions from abroad, and how to qualify for the Class 2 contribution, which is substantially cheaper

  31. Simon Toyne says

    I was born in 1965, joined the RAF for ten years (82-92) then worked for Tesco (92-96) then Cambs Police from 96-04 when I emigrated to Canada. I have these three pensions invested here as RRSP’s. Am I still eligible to claim a UK state pension?

    • David Morris says

      Hello Simon, absolutely you are entitled to a partial UK state pension. The good news is that you can continue to make voluntary National Insurance contributions from Canada, which will increase your base state pension. If you join us, we will send you an information package on how to get started.

  32. I was born in 1960 and so under the new rules will reach pensionable age when I am 66.

    I worked in the UK from 1788 until 1999 except for 3 years in University (1979 to 1982 when I worked intermittently). I paid National Insurance the whole time I was working. Somewhere around 1991/92 I recall contracting out. In 1999 I emigrated to canada where I was employed until 2002 and then I became self employed. I have worked the whole time and paid full CPP in that time.

    I am married to a Canadian for the last 9 years. Our plan is to retire in Europe (most likely Italy) by the time I am 62 if not a bit sooner.

    It looks as if I can top up my National Insurance and add 10 years worth of contributions and so maybe get to 28 years am I right?

    Having contracted out etc can you give me a rough idea what sort of pension I might expect if I top up or if I don’t top up?

    Also am I right, as I am still working (but in Canada) the top up is much cheaper?

    Happy to subscribe but want to be sure you are still active before I try.

    Kindest regards


    • David Morris says

      Hello Jonathan, we are indeed active. Check out the front page for recent media coverage in the UK.
      You will reach pension age in 2027, so you can certainly contribute from now until then, so that would give you 11 more years. You can also contribute for 6 prior years – for a total of 17. You worked in the UK for at least 8 years, and may also get credit for the part time work, so yes, you can get to at least 28.
      Under the new single tier pension legislation, contracting out is no longer allowed. However, calculating the pension you would get is quite complicated, because of all the transition rules on prior contracting out. I can tell you that topping up is a good deal, no matter what.
      Also, if you qualify to contribute at the class 2 rate, it is much cheaper than the class 3.
      Your best bet is to apply for a pension forecast/statement. That will tell you how many years you have, and what options you have for making voluntary contributions.
      If you join, we will send you an info package on how to get started with that – especially with the Class 2, because the Government doesn’t go out of its way to tell you about class 2

      • I will subscribe right away thank you.

        Ha I see from my email my career began in 1788 – thats 211 years of contributions. I am Golden !

        Seriously I meant 1978. My email was also ambiguous – I contributed continually from 1982 to 1999 plus 1978 to 1979. In all 18 years of contributions.

        From your email it looks like I could start contributing from Canada for the next 5 or 6 years AND top up as much as ten more. So I could get to 34 years ? Or do the contracted-out years not count at all ?

        I had better get that forecast/statement request in right away – this changes things for me in a good way.

        • David Morris says

          Hello Jonathan, I had already guessed you weren’t several hundreds of years old. Yes, you can contribute from Canada about 17 more years to add to what you have. The contracted out years do count, but for a lesser pension amount. The combination of contracted out and full years makes it complicated to calculate your actual pension amount, however that shouldn’t stop you making contributions from abroad.

  33. I have just received notice from the UK after inquiring that I have 7 eligible years of contributions. I am turning 60 this year. I need to make up three years to receive the minimum but is it my understanding that I can make up more than just the three years to receive more pension? Do I have 5 years to do this top-up? Is it best to make the payment once a year?

    Thank you

    • David Morris says

      Hello Kevin, you can make 6 prior year catch up payments, plus new voluntary contributions going forward to age 65. You have 6 years to make a payment for a given year, so if you are making a payment for 2009, it needs to be made now. You have until 2020 to make a payment for 2014.
      You can only pay for current and prior years at a time, so you could pay 6 payments to catch up, and 1 for the current year. It is really up to you financially to decide whether you want to make those catchup payments. It is a good deal, but you obviously have to have the money available

  34. Robin Louise PIle says

    I was born in March 1953, which seems to meet #2 for women. I worked for two years in London, 1998-00, but while I paid taxes I’m not sure I would have contributed to pension schemes.

    I’m not sure what joining Canadian Alliance of British Pensioners would be able to help with. Can you please advise?

    Thank you,

    • David Morris says

      Hello Louise, you are in the group that only needs 1 year to be eligible for a partial UK pension. If you paid taxes when you were employed, then you would have made National Insurance contributions, so you are eligible. You also have time to make some catch up back payments to increase your pension. If you join CABP, we will send you a complete package of information on what to do next, including how to make voluntary payments to increase your pension. As a non profit member based organization, we will also be fighting on your behalf to get your pension indexed to inflation. You can see elsewhere on this website what we are about, and what we are doing for our members.

  35. not sure if I am eligible for UK pension ..birthdate is June 28 1954..worked for 4 years in England and moved to cananda in 1975…

    • David Morris says

      Hello Barb, you will reach pension age in March 2020, and will need 10 years of NI contributions. The good news is that you have at least 4, and you are able to make voluntary contributions from Canada to get you the missing years. In total, you should be able to make another 10 at least, plus the 4 you have which will give about 40% of a full pension. Don’t delay though, as you will lose buy back years as time goes on.

  36. Jacqueline Sanger says

    I turn 63 in Feb 2016, and have the full 27 years of contribution. My husband will not be 65 until
    June of 2016. If I apply in Feb. how will that affect my pension. Will my husband still get a percentage
    or will my pension be increased by 30 percent.

    • David Morris says

      Hello Jacqueline, unfortunately, as your husband reaches pension age after April 2016, he will not be entitled to any spousal pension. Spousal pensions for people reaching pension age after that date are eliminated. The only pensions that will be paid are those based on a persons own NI record. You will not get an increase in your pension based on having a spouse.
      I don’t understand your question about applying in February for your pension.

      • Jacqueline Sanger says

        I turn 63 in feb of 2016. I understood that retirement for a woman was 63 yrs. old.
        Will I get the 30 % increase . Also would it be beneficial to hold of claiming until
        June or July when the yearly increase goes through.

  37. Born in October 1954, I have just finished paying the 30 years that I understood I needed to get the full pension (for when I eventually can receive that).

    Now that I understand I need to pay 35 years to get the full pension, is there any information on when (in my case) the additional five years might be due to be paid?

    Or… any relating ‘timing’ information around the 35 years payment would be much appreciated,

    • David Morris says

      Hello Jules, payments are allocated to specific years, and you have 6 years in which to make a payment for a given year. So, for 2015, you have until 2021 to make the payment for that year. You can make a payment for a year even after you reach pension age, as long as it is within the 6 year window. For example, you can make a payment now for any year after 2008/2009 that you have not already paid for.

  38. Susan Pilkington says

    My husband and I are members.

    Husbands date of birth 24/4/45 My date of birth 23/3/48. Born in UK.Husband worked 1960-77 when we left for Canada where we are Canadian Citizens.

    We receive pensions which are in payment now.

    I am not entitled to UK pension and received a small one based on my husbands contributions.

    From what I read it would appear that his pension would remain in payment after the 2016 changes.

    My question is will I still continue to receive the pension that I receive, and if so, would I get it after his death.

    Are there any other changes that will affect us.

    • David Morris says

      Hello Susan, no need to worry. neither of you will be affected in any way by the new legislation. You will continue to receive your spousal pension, and will continue to get it after his death. In fact, your pension would be increased to match his amount if that happens.
      Thanks for being a member

  39. Hi David,

    We are currently planning our move to Canada and I wondered whether we’ll be able to claim our British pension in the future, even though we would reside in Canada?
    I’ve worked from the age of 17 and I’m now almost 43 years old; know I have a while to go, but just one of the things on my to do list. My husband has worked in England for 16 years.

    Thanks in advance for your help.

    • David Morris says

      Hello Marcia, absolutely you can receive your UK pension in Canada. They will even pay it directly into a Canadian bank account. Looks like you have about 26 years, which is great. You need 35 for a full pension and you can make additional voluntary contributions from Canada to get you to that full pension if you wish. Good luck on your move.

  40. Barry Gass says

    I have been paying voluntary NI contributions for the past few years and will reach 30 years in 2015. I will be 65 in September 2016. Can I pay the extra five years contributions needed for a full pension in one lump sum or would I have to do this over five years before drawing my pension? HMRC cannot answer this question, as they say that the legislation has not yet been passed. What would the monetary difference be between 30 and 35 years?

    • David Morris says

      Hello Barry, unfortunately I can not answer this question either, as the rules haven’t yet been clarified.
      The monetary difference between 30 and 35 years will be 5/35 of whatever the full pension will be in 2016 (that hasn’t been clarified yet either). if, for example, the full pension is £140 a week, then the difference between 30 and 35 years would be £20 a week.

  41. lloyd hunter says


    I was born 25/07/1974 in the UK and immigrated to Australia in 1999. I worked full time from the age of 17 until my departure from UK. Although my retirement age is a fair way off I was curious as to my entitlements under existing legislation. After reading some of the resources available I am unsure if I would be eligible for a percentage of the UK pension or indeed not eligible at all.

    our advise would be appreciated


    • David Morris says

      Hello LLoyd, you will come under the new legislation, which requires you to have 10 years of work contributions in the UK to qualify for a partial pension. You are likely pretty close to that already. The good news is that you are entitled to make voluntary contributions to the pension scheme to build up your entitlement. This is very much worth doing financially. At the very least, you should make enough voluntary payments to get you to the 10 year minimum. Otherwise you lose the 8 or 9 years you already contributed.
      If you join us, we will provide a complete package of information on how to get started, including making voluntary contributions from abroad. Now is the best time to be planning for retirement.

  42. Ian Naismyth says

    I was born in 1953, I currently have 21 yrs paid up as I understand I will receive my pension in 2018, so I now assume I will receive 21/35ths. of the rate at that time is this correct? Also wondered about my wife born 1956 in Canada, Grandparents were Scottish, is she entitled to anything or does that stop at ladies born 53 or earlier?

    Thank you, Ian Naismyth

    • David Morris says

      Hello Ian, you are correct in your calculation and in the fact that your spouse will not be entitled to a spousal pension if she reaches retirement age after 2016

  43. Robert Johnston says


    I completed my 30 years of contributions a couple of years ago and I just turned 65. However, I am still working full time so I plan to defer my pension. I understand that the amount payable will increase with each month of deferment, but will there be a change if I defer past April 2016?

    • David Morris says

      Hello Robert, there are no changes to the deferment rules if you reach retirement age before 2016. The rules are changing for people who reach pension age after 2016, but they wont apply to you

  44. Anna Fabryova says


    Im working in England four years as personal asssistent. Im 67 years old, should I get some pension after
    five years?

    Thank you veru much for explain., Anna

    • David Morris says

      Hello Anna, I really cant say. It depends on whether you are making National Insurance contributions. Depending on your date of birth, you may need 10 years of contributions

  45. Thank you for helping with two questions if you can…very much appreciated…

    I was born in 1954 in England and worked there between 1984 and 1996, returned to Canada and am just about to finish paying off the remainder of the 30 years that I had understood I needed to get the full pension when retiring.

    When I called the relevant U.K. government department recently, they did not say, when asked, that I needed more than this 30 years to get the full pension but your website relating to the new legislation, is mentioning 35 years as definitely being needed for the full pension.

    Question 1 – could you clarify why you are showing 35 years as now definitely being needed for the full pension?

    Question 2 – is it clear under the new legislation, what age I can retire at?

    • David Morris says

      Hello Jules, according to the new pension legislation which comes in to force April 2016, you will definitely need 35 years to qualify for the full pension. Your existing 30 years of credits will be converted to the new scheme, and you will receive no less than what you would have received under the old scheme. If that is less than the full pension available under the new scheme, you can buy additional years to get you to the maximum.
      Your pension age under the new legislation will be in 2020.

  46. I will turn 65 next April and have 17 qualifying years confirmed by the Future Pension Centre last month. I also am entitled to a small Graduated Retirement Benefit. Some questions, if I may:
    1] my wife of 37 years turns 65 next February. She is Canadian and has never worked / lived in UK. Is she entitled to receive the Married Person’s pension, which I understand is 60% of mine?
    2] How many back dated years of voluntary contributions can I make to increase the qualifying years and is it a sound investment? ( I made 3 voluntary contributions in 2006 for the years 2002/03, 2003/04 and 2004/05) .
    3] What is the difference between Class 2 and Class 3 contributions?

    Many thanks.

    p.s. I have been a member of CABP since 2006 when a member alerted me to the option of making voluntary payments. Great work!

    • David Morris says

      Hello John, thanks for your support. In terms of your questions.
      1. yes, your wife will be entitled to a spousal pension equal to 60% of yours. In the event of you predeceasing her, her pension will be increased to be the equal of yours.
      2. Yes, making voluntary contributions makes excellent financial sense. The math is very clear. You should be able to make at least 3 more back dated years, and they may make available a one time offer when you claim your pension of a further 6 years buy back at class 3 rates
      3. There is a huge difference between class 3 and class 2. A Class 3 contribution costs £722, compared to £143 for a class 2. The rules for Class 2 are outlined in our membership document MYCABP. This would have been sent to you when you joined, however, If you call the office, they will send you an up to date version.

  47. Sally Kane says

    Question. My husband whose birthdate is May 17, 1948, is now receiving the British Pension. As his spouse do I qualify for a spousal British Pension? I was born May 14, 1954. I understand the rules have changed and the spousal British pension will be eliminated after 2016.

    • David Morris says

      Hello Sally, unfortunately you reach retirement age after 2016, so you will not qualify for a spousal pension

  48. Alan Woodroffe says

    Hi there, I was born in London July 1951 and I worked there from the age if 15 to 40 years old. I then moved to Canada. I will be 63 on July 15th. I have officially retired in Canada and receive a smallish amount $369.00 per month from CPP (Canada Pension Plan) I know I will have eligibility as I worked there for 25 years. can you give me any idea what my pension payment from the UK would be. Also I don’t remember my social security number. How can I ascertain that ? Is it true that I can claim nothing until I am 65. Also since the rules change approx. 3 months before I turn 65, is there anything I can do to increase my pension payouts. Sorry, I knos that is a lot of questions.. Kind regards Alan 🙂

    • David Morris says

      Hello Alan, Yes, you can’t claim until you reach pension age in July 2016. You certainly can increase your pension amount by making voluntary contributions now. You can also make some catch up back payments. This is definitely worth doing, but you should be doing it now. Don’t wait until you retire. A full pension in 2016 will be approx. £144 a week, and you will need 35 years of contributions to get the full amount. if you have less than 35 years, it will be prorated. if you join us, we can give you an information package about what to do next, including how to apply for your National Insurance number, and how to make back payments

  49. My husband qualifies for his UK pension in April 2016. I have never worked in the UK but apparently I get a percentage of his. Am I eligible to collect that at age 60 or do I have to wait until he turns 65 to collect it.

    • David Morris says

      Hello Sandy, I would need both your dates of birth to let you know about the spousal pension

  50. Heather Scully says

    Hello there.

    I was born in 1981 and worked in the UK for about one year in 2009-2010. I am wondering if I would be eligible for this pension and whether it is worth spending what little money I have to add years to this pension. This seems like a good idea, but I want to make sure it’s legit before I involve myself. Thanks.


    • David Morris says

      Hello Heather, it is definitely legit. Anyone who has contributed to the NI system, by employment, is eligible for a pension. The amount you get is based on the number of years you contributed. You fall under the new legislation, so will need 10 years to qualify. However, once you have a National Insurance record, you are able to make voluntary contributions to increase your pension eligibility. Your retirement age will be 66, so you have lots of time to build up a good pension. The amount you have to pay for each year to get an additional years worth of pension is absolutely worth it. It is a very good deal.
      The first step is to find out if you have a National Insurance number, and if the pensions Dept has a record of you. They will then officially tell you your status, and that you can make voluntary contributions. We can help you with that first step. You can then decide for yourself if it is worth making additional contributions

      • Heather Scully says

        I do indeed have an NI number. So, how do I go about making payments?

        • David Morris says

          Hi Heather, my best suggestion to you is that you join us. Once you are a member, we will send you a complete package of information. Included in that are the rules for qualifying for Class 2 Voluntary contributions, which are a fraction of the cost of Class 3. We also tell you how to get started, and who to write to.
          You can see from our website who we are, and what we do. We are all volunteers, working together to get our pensions indexed. All money raised from our members goes towards this goal. You can join direct from this website. It is only $25 annually, and we provide lots of support and valuable information to our members

  51. Gordon Murray says

    Hi David I just found your website as I was looking for info on my Canadian pension, my question is I was born in England in April 1950 and started work at the age of 15 in 1965, I worked until June of 1974 (at which time I emigrated to Canada) I am not sure of the exact months but the years are correct. I am not sure how to read the eligible years and the commencement of this new act it would seem I have 9 years of work and will be 65 in 2015, so would this entitle me to a partial pension. Also how can I find out my years of work for an exact total of the time I worked.

    Many Thanks

    Gord M

    • David Morris says

      Hello Gordon, you only need 1 year of work to be eligible, so you certainly qualify for a partial uk pension already.You also have the ability to make voluntary contributions to get you a bigger pension. If you join us, we can help you get started, and also let you know how to make voluntary contributions. This is really worth you pursuing

  52. I completed my 30 years of contributions and my voluntary NI payments were halted a few years ago. If 35 years of contributions will now be needed, do I have to pay the additonal years or will those who completed 30 years prior to the new legislation be “grandfathered” in?

    • David Morris says

      Hello John, if you retire after 2016 you will need to pay the additional years to get the maximum pension.

  53. Les Moore says

    CABP #50316
    Can you please help me with my situation. I was born 6th April 1949 and turned 65 this year. I have 26 years NI contributions. I have postponed claiming my pension until 6th April 2015 to gain the extra 10.4% in payments due to the frozen pension system. My wife was born 16th February 1953 which will make her eligible to a pension on 16/1/2016, she has only got 4 qualifying years to date.We were both born in the UK and emigrated to Australia in 1974. My question is can my wife claim a pension based on my contributions or will she need to make further contributions to build up her pension ?
    In view of the proposed changes how would my pension be affected by me delaying claiming my pension until 6th April 2016 would this put us into the new system whereby I would need 35 qualifying contribuions
    Regards Les

    • David Morris says

      Hello Les, you can delay claiming your pension for as long as you wish, and it does not affect your eligibility. Providing you reached retirement age before April 2016, you qualify under the current system, regardless of when you claim it. Your spouse will also fall under the current system if she reaches retirement age before April 2016, and she will be entitled to class B spousal pension equal to 60% of yours.

  54. terry denvir says

    I will be able to recieve my pension for GB in seven years from now.My question is about my class 3 contributions and tax relief for them in Canada.I know that I am required to tax income tax on the British pension but wonder if there is any provisions in the income tax act for my contributions.In other words if I contribute to my Canadian pension plan I would get tax relief for that contribution yearly,can I not get a tax deduction for my payment into the British plan from the Canadian authorities,after all they will betaking the money from me at retirement but give me no credit for the contribution.

    • David Morris says

      Hello Terry, unfortunately no. The CRA is quite clear. You can not claim a deduction for contributions to the UK state pension

  55. Chris Smith says

    Do you have any time line on when the new law will come into effect? The reason I ask is that I am sitting on 8 years credit and I am on a fixed income and become eligible in July 2016 . The last response I got from the UK pension on class 2/3 rates appears to have fallen on deaf ears, as they want me to contact HM Revenue and Customs.
    So any info would help (CABP member since last year).

    • David Morris says

      Hello Chris, the new legislation is scheduled to come in on April, 2016. You will want to add at least a couple more years of credit to get you to 10, which will be the minimum.
      There should be no reason for you to contact HM Revenue and Customs. If you have the version of MYCABP that was sent to you when you joined, there is information there about applying for class 2 payments. There is also the number to call the branch of the DWP that deals with International Pensioners

  56. Sally Land says

    If someone who is not British but has worked in the UK for under a year (like Sister no. 2) or 2 years (like Sister No 1) is allowed to make voluntary contributions and receive a UK pension, is there any wonder the British Government won ‘t budge on frozen pensions? Are other countries so generous? I doubt it. On that basis in a 40 year working life someone could work for a few months or a year many different countries and end up with about 30 or 40 pensions!

    • David Morris says

      Hello Sally, I understand your point – but bear in mind that contributions are the same for everyone. It doesn’t matter whether you live in the UK or not, everyone pays the same amount. In fact, many countries do allow contributions to their pension scheme to be made outside the country. If A Canadian worked in the UK, any contributions made to the National Insurance System would be recognized as credits towards the Canadian pension.
      The issue for us is very simple. Why should someone who has made identical contributions get an indexed pension in the US, but not in Canada.
      If the UK government decided that no pensions are payable, or uprateable, outside the UK, that would at least be consistent, but that isn’t the case. We are just fighting for equal treatment

  57. Don Marshall says


    My wife & I both paid in for the old 30 years maximum qualification period, but neither of us will reach age 65 state pension retirement age before 2016. Is it beneficial to go back and top up over the next 5 years or how much would a one payment to buy-back an extra 5 years cost us both?

    Sincerely Don M.

    • David Morris says

      Hello Don, if you can afford the cash outlay, it is generally a good financial deal to buy additional years. The rate you pay for a year depends on whether you can pay the Class 2 or class 3 rates. Class 3 rates are roughly £720 for each year, whereas Class 2 rates are roughly £140 for each year. One year additional pension at the maximum rate is roughly £195 per year, so if you pay class 3 rates you will pay £720 one time to receive £195 per year for life

    • Carol Barber says

      Question: I am a member of CABP (you are doing great work!) but have a double question on behalf of my sisters, both of whom worked in the UK. Sister No. 1: Born Dec. 1966, worked in the UK for just under 2 years; what does she need to do to be eligible for a British Pension and may she make voluntary contributions? Sister No. 2 was born June 1959 and worked a little less than a year back in 1976; is she at all eligible?
      Thank you very much for your kind assistance, regards, Carol

      • David Morris says

        Hello Carol, thanks for your support.
        For sister 1, she will need 10 years of eligible contributions to qualify for a minimum pension at her retirement in 2032. The good news is that she is eligible to make voluntary contributions every year until then, so she will be able to qualify if she does that. It is important for her to get started on making those contributions.
        Sister number 2 is possibly eligible. She has the time to make voluntary contributions, but only if she has a National Insurance record already established based on her 1 year work record. She needs to write to the dept of Works and pensions, and give them her employer name or last address, and ask for her National Insurance Number. if she has one, she can make voluntary contributions. Is she hasn’t, she can’t.

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