Credited UK NI contributions as a teenager - why?

NoRegretsCoyote

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I lived and worked in the UK for a while about 15 years ago. Recently I applied for a record of my UK NI contributions and received it.

It shows a record of what I paid for two years in the mid-2000s in Class 1 contributions, and seems correct.

It also shows 52 credited contributions for three years in the mid-90s. This seems odd as I was a teenager and lived in Ireland at the time.

Why would they have done this? Is it normal? Does it entitle me to anything?
 

Saavy99

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You need 10 years paid contributions to get minimum pension. You need minimum of three years paid contributions to enable you to buy back up to 12 years which is a great deal, as well as pay voluntary contributions going forward. Do a search on here, you will find other threads on the subject. Did you work in Northern Ireland in the mid nineties?
 

Gervan

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Perhaps there is a universal credit covering 3 years at university (whether people studied there or not) as students would have lost out compared to people who started work straight from school?
Definitely look into buy back options.
 

NoRegretsCoyote

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You need 10 years paid contributions to get minimum pension. You need minimum of three years paid contributions to enable you to buy back up to 12 years which is a great deal, as well as pay voluntary contributions going forward. Do a search on here, you will find other threads on the subject. Did you work in Northern Ireland in the mid nineties?

Never worked in NI, no.

Some HMRC guidance suggests three years residence or three years paid contributions is enough to make voluntary contributions.

I have three years residence but not three years contributions.

Voluntary contributions at £15 a week is actuarially an incredible deal if I'm eligible.
 

Saavy99

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If you are eligible to pay class 2 national insurance , it would be approx £12 a month, a much better deal! You need to contact them in Newcastle to see if you are eligible.
 

Lisboa

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From 1975, 16, 17 and 18 year olds were given credits if they stayed in full time education, approved training or apprenticeship to protect their state pension position. These credits were ended on 6 April 2010 because the reduction in the number of qualifying years required for a full basic State Pension at that time meant that they were no longer needed.
 

Hooverfish

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Please be careful. Although I am still doggedly following up with HMRC and with the contributory pensions section in Sligo, and I have not got to the end of the line, it does seem that if you buy back UK years for which you have full PRSI contributions here, you are wasting your money, as you cannot have contributions in two states at the same time. And you can only buy back years since 2007 from the UK. So where were you working recently? You don't need to tell us, but don't buy back without thinking this through... I'm still hopeful that Sligo will be proved incorrect in this view, but I'm finding it hard to get my query escalated up!
 

NoRegretsCoyote

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So where were you working recently? You don't need to tell us, but don't buy back without thinking this through... I'm still hopeful that Sligo will be proved incorrect in this view, but I'm finding it hard to get my query escalated up!

My circumstances are very odd and I'd rather not go into details. Suffice to say I'm a grey area.

I've written them a letter in Newcastle to see if I can buy back years.

My query was more about the credited contributions for teenage years which has been answered.

Am still not sure though - would they help with state pension eligibility if I can make voluntary contributions?
 

Saavy99

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Please be careful. Although I am still doggedly following up with HMRC and with the contributory pensions section in Sligo, and I have not got to the end of the line, it does seem that if you buy back UK years for which you have full PRSI contributions here, you are wasting your money, as you cannot have contributions in two states at the same time. And you can only buy back years since 2007 from the UK. So where were you working recently? You don't need to tell us, but don't buy back without thinking this through... I'm still hopeful that Sligo will be proved incorrect in this view, but I'm finding it hard to get my query escalated up!

How many years contributions have you in the UK?
 

Hooverfish

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My circumstances are very odd and I'd rather not go into details. Suffice to say I'm a grey area.

I've written them a letter in Newcastle to see if I can buy back years.

My query was more about the credited contributions for teenage years which has been answered.

Am still not sure though - would they help with state pension eligibility if I can make voluntary contributions?

Looks like eligibility helped *only* if you didn't make PRSI contributions in Ireland for the same years on offer for buyback. I contributed for 12 years in the UK, 3 of which are like yours, and moved to Ireland in 1990, with full PRSI contributions here since then. However only 7 of the UK years are recorded although I have evidence of paying them. There are 400k people in the UK with contributions apparently lost by HMRC. Or possibly I may have accidentally paid Class 4 not Class 2 for those years (I was self employed)... I also have buyback available from UK, but only for years when I have full PRSI contributions in Ireland. So it appears for my situation buyback would be money down the drain. Except that I found documents on Social Welfare's own website that contradict Sligo's interpretation and say "overlapping" does not apply for pension contributions. I can't get them to explain this! We're on to letter number 5 at the moment, but still at first-level staff dealing with the query.
 

euroDilbert

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Looks like eligibility helped *only* if you didn't make PRSI contributions in Ireland for the same years on offer for buyback. I contributed for 12 years in the UK, 3 of which are like yours, and moved to Ireland in 1990, with full PRSI contributions here since then. However only 7 of the UK years are recorded although I have evidence of paying them. There are 400k people in the UK with contributions apparently lost by HMRC. Or possibly I may have accidentally paid Class 4 not Class 2 for those years (I was self employed)... I also have buyback available from UK, but only for years when I have full PRSI contributions in Ireland. So it appears for my situation buyback would be money down the drain. Except that I found documents on Social Welfare's own website that contradict Sligo's interpretation and say "overlapping" does not apply for pension contributions. I can't get them to explain this! We're on to letter number 5 at the moment, but still at first-level staff dealing with the query.
I'm very interested to hear the result of your inquiries, as my circumstances are very similar. I have been in touch with the UK side a few times, but have not engaged with Sligo (yet !).
 

Gervan

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if you buy back UK years for which you have full PRSI contributions here, you are wasting your money, as you cannot have contributions in two states at the same time

There are several threads on here from people who are receiving pensions from both UK and Ireland. It obviously depends on your individual circumstances. I bought back 7 UK years, while an employee here, but at the more expensive Class 3 contributions, having been told I could only pay Class 2 if I had been in UK employment immediately before leaving. It was still worth it.
 

Saavy99

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Looks like eligibility helped *only* if you didn't make PRSI contributions in Ireland for the same years on offer for buyback.

That's just not true. I was able to buy back 12 UK years even though I was paying full PRSI in Ireland at the same time. I know several others who did likewise.

It sounds like you have some issue with class 4 contributions which I am not familiar with. You should be able to buy back three years to get at least the minimum UK state pension. Read the following link and fill the form at the end and send it to them.


If you need more information, the pension advisory service have an online chat service that should be able to help you.

You really don't need to go through Sligo at all as all the Information you need is on the HMRC website.
 

Hooverfish

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That's just not true. I was able to buy back 12 UK years even though I was paying full PRSI in Ireland at the same time. I know several others who did likewise.

It sounds like you have some issue with class 4 contributions which I am not familiar with. You should be able to buy back three years to get at least the minimum UK state pension. Read the following link and fill the form at the end and send it to them.


If you need more information, the pension advisory service have an online chat service that should be able to help you.

You really don't need to go through Sligo at all as all the Information you need is on the HMRC website.

Saavy99, obviously you don't have to answer this, but are you actually now receiving a contributory state pension partially from Ireland, partially from the UK, that includes bought back years from the UK when in fact you actually were employed and paid your PRSI for those same years in Ireland?

Because you can indeed buy back the years - that's not the problem, but then you may find your Irish pension is reduced on payment. When you retire (actually you should apply 6 months before you hit retirement age), the UK first sends its information to Ireland as this is where you are now resident, and Ireland use this to decide what amount they will pay you. So if your record shows you were paying in recent years in the UK, according to the first level enquiries I have been making, you then don't get those years from Ireland. I think Sligo are wrong, but I can't get anything in writing to this effect yet, so I don't know whether to buy back...
 
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Saavy99

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Saavy99, obviously you don't have to answer this, but are you actually now receiving a contributory state pension partially from Ireland, partially from the UK, that includes bought back years from the UK when in fact you actually were employed and paid your PRSI for those same years in Ireland?
Not me but my partner is and getting two full state pensions, one from uk and one from Ireland, started work in Ireland in 1995 right up until retirement age. Worked in UK years before that and carried on paying voluntary uk class two contributions on return to Ireland right up until retirement.
When I retire I will be in same position (unless brexit puts a spanner in it).
 

Saavy99

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Because you can indeed buy back the years - that's not the problem, but then you may find your Irish pension is reduced on payment. When you retire (actually you should apply 6 months before you hit retirement age), the UK first sends its information to Ireland as this is where you are now resident, and Ireland use this to decide what amount they will pay you. So if your record shows you were paying in recent years in the UK, according to the first level enquiries I have been making, you then don't get those years from Ireland. I think Sligo are wrong, but I can't get anything in writing to this effect yet, so I don't know whether to buy back...

As long as you have sufficient contributions in both countries you will get both state pensions. Many people on their return from UK particularly in years gone by, were not aware they could have continued on paying voluntary national insurance contributions to the UK to avail of full UK state pension. So when they retired or retire they simple apply to Sligo for their pension. Sometimes they may have enough contributions to get full Irish state pension and maybe enough contributions made in UK to get partial UK pension. If they don't have enough contributions made in Ireland for full Irish state pension they get what is known as prorata pension, contributions from both countries would be added together.

This is how I did it for my partner.

As UK state pension is paid at 65, a few months before my partner's 65th birthday I downloaded the application form from the HMRC website, filled it in and returned it to UK, pension was paid Into UK bank account (which we kept open) a few months later. I did not go near Sligo, it had nothing to do with them.
I got the required application form from following link.
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/the-basic-state-pension

When partner turned 66, application form for Irish state pension was downloaded, a question was asked on that form about other pensions that were payable and I put down UK state pension and the amount being received. Irish state pension was paid into Irish Bank a few months later. It was as simple as that.

Obviously everyone's situation is different but I would advise anyone to begin by firstly getting statement of their contributions from UK. See if you can buy back years and then if you still have time start paying voluntary contributions going forward. I'm eligible to pay class two now only circa £12 a month others are paying class 3 which are about £15 a week or around £60 a month.

Hope that helps!
 

Hooverfish

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Thanks for explaining Saavy99. Are there any other people on the forum who have managed to do this?
 
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