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Old 27.08.2020, 11:45
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Early retirement to the UK : LAMal and NI contributions

Hi all,

Planning to take early retirement and return to the UK in a few years, after many years in Switzerland.

The vast majority of my pension is going to be Swiss. I do not have 10 years of contributions in the UK and won't receive a state pension. I am aware therefore that I will need to pay the LAMal for health care even during retirement in the UK. Fine, this is an agreement between the UK and Switzerland and it's normal that we pay our costs since we haven't paid NI contributions all these decades.

My question concerns NI contributions. As I plan to retire early, before the state pension age in the UK, will I be liable for NI contributions in the UK even though I'm paying the LAMal in Switzerland ? I can't find any information to confirm that I wouldn't need to pay double, which would of course be unreasonable IMO.

I believe I'll be taxed on my pension income in the UK, not at source, but I haven't figured that out yet.

Any insight much appreciated. Thanks.
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Old 27.08.2020, 12:20
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Re: Early retirement to the UK : LAMal and NI contributions

Off topic mazbe. HMRC have some 'amnesty' running on voluntary NI contributions.

Usually it's only the last 6 years you can pay in, but currently it's a lot longer.
It may be worth contacting them directly to their overseas support line.
(Note: the govt. website only shows class 3 payment catch up, whereas if you are working you can pay class 2, and that involves phone calls and letters too and fro).

Last edited by CodPeace; 27.08.2020 at 13:12. Reason: typo
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Old 27.08.2020, 12:39
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Re: Early retirement to the UK : LAMal and NI contributions

As a Brit, I’m surprised at the need to pay LAMal.... I mean maybe officially, but no Dr is ever going to think to question your entitlement to NHS treatment if you’re British. Also not sure how it’s any different to a British person who has lived in country but not paid NI for one reason or another.
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Old 27.08.2020, 12:54
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Re: Early retirement to the UK : LAMal and NI contributions

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As a Brit, Iím surprised at the need to pay LAMal.... I mean maybe officially, but no Dr is ever going to think to question your entitlement to NHS treatment if youíre British. Also not sure how itís any different to a British person who has lived in country but not paid NI for one reason or another.
I was surprised by that too but it's an agreement from 2002 between the EU and EFTA and Switzerland. 4 countries have made agreements with Switzerland giving retirees the possibility to opt out of the LAMal, but not the UK. You can read about it here : https://www.bag.admin.ch/bag/en/home...m-ausland.html

You're right about the doctor. However, the Swiss won't let you get away with the LAMal contributions during retirement if you're going to be in the UK.

Alas
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Old 27.08.2020, 13:19
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Re: Early retirement to the UK : LAMal and NI contributions

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the Swiss won't let you get away with the LAMal contributions
Ahh!
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Old 27.08.2020, 13:24
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Re: Early retirement to the UK : LAMal and NI contributions

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Ahh!
I know, who would have thought it

I have found though that if you have a UK state pension too, irrespective of the amount, and retire to the UK, you are exempted from paying the LAMal.

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Old 27.08.2020, 13:30
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Re: Early retirement to the UK : LAMal and NI contributions

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I was surprised by that too but it's an agreement from 2002 between the EU and EFTA and Switzerland. 4 countries have made agreements with Switzerland giving retirees the possibility to opt out of the LAMal, but not the UK. You can read about it here : https://www.bag.admin.ch/bag/en/home...m-ausland.html

You're right about the doctor. However, the Swiss won't let you get away with the LAMal contributions during retirement if you're going to be in the UK.

Alas
But you tick two or more boxes.
"recipients of a Swiss pension who are domiciled in an EU/EFTA country are required to take out compulsory Swiss health-insurance cover"
Fair enough.
"Persons in receipt of a pension from their country of residence must take out health insurance in that country."
You'll get a UK state pension.

"Persons in receipt of pensions from several states (but not from the state in which they reside) must take out health insurance in the country in which they have the longest contribution record."
You'll get a UK state pension.

And from that French article:
"
Obligation to insure in Switzerland

  • You get a pension from Switzerland (AVS, AI, AA, PP) and you transfer your place of residence to an EU / EFTA state and
  • You do not get any pension from your new state of residence and
  • You only contributed for these pensions in Switzerland or the insurance period was longer in Switzerland than it was in another EU / EFTA state (it is in Switzerland that the periods of insurance must be the longest)."
so much the same.

What am I missing?
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Old 27.08.2020, 14:03
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Re: Early retirement to the UK : LAMal and NI contributions

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But you tick two or more boxes.
"recipients of a Swiss pension who are domiciled in an EU/EFTA country are required to take out compulsory Swiss health-insurance cover"
That's me.
Fair enough.
"Persons in receipt of a pension from their country of residence must take out health insurance in that country."
That's not me, I don't have 10 years of NI contributions and therefore no UK pension. But, thanks to the post from Island Monkey I will pay my Class 2 volontary contributions and hence obtain a UK pension. So yes, once done, this is also me.
You'll get a UK state pension (once I've paid my missing years).

"Persons in receipt of pensions from several states (but not from the state in which they reside) must take out health insurance in the country in which they have the longest contribution record."
You'll get a UK state pension.
This was my situation. Switzerland being the longest to which I've contributed. But by paying my class 2 contributions, this is no longer applicable.
And from that French article:
"
Obligation to insure in Switzerland

  • You get a pension from Switzerland (AVS, AI, AA, PP) and you transfer your place of residence to an EU / EFTA state and
  • You do not get any pension from your new state of residence and
  • You only contributed for these pensions in Switzerland or the insurance period was longer in Switzerland than it was in another EU / EFTA state (it is in Switzerland that the periods of insurance must be the longest)."
so much the same.

What am I missing?
Basically when I first posted I knew I didn't have a UK pension, having only 5 years of contributions. So I would therefore have needed to pay the LAMal. But since discovering that I can backpay class 2 contributions to make up years and obtain a UK pension, I will tick two of the boxes like you say. Today is a good day
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Old 27.08.2020, 13:09
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Re: Early retirement to the UK : LAMal and NI contributions

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As a Brit, Iím surprised at the need to pay LAMal.... I mean maybe officially, but no Dr is ever going to think to question your entitlement to NHS treatment if youíre British. Also not sure how itís any different to a British person who has lived in country but not paid NI for one reason or another.
PS. Full explanation here : https://www.kvg.org/fr/rentiers-_content---1--1041.html
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Old 27.08.2020, 12:49
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Re: Early retirement to the UK : LAMal and NI contributions

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Off topic mabe. HMRC have some 'amnesty' running on voluntary NI contributions.

Usually it's only the last 6 years you can pay in, but currently it's a lot longer.
It may be worth contacting them directly to their overseas support line.
(Note: the govt. website only shows class 3 payment catch up, whereas if you are working you can pay class 2, and that involves phone calls and letters too and fro).
Thanks for that info. I just created my account on the UK tax service site and had the pleasant surprise of discovering that I had a few more years contributions than I thought. I will see how many volontary contributions I can make and get at least a minimum state pension. Sweet.
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Old 27.08.2020, 13:34
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Re: Early retirement to the UK : LAMal and NI contributions

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Thanks for that info. I just created my account on the UK tax service site and had the pleasant surprise of discovering that I had a few more years contributions than I thought. I will see how many volontary contributions I can make and get at least a minimum state pension. Sweet.
Just checked mine too..... 12 years!!
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Old 27.08.2020, 13:48
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Re: Early retirement to the UK : LAMal and NI contributions

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Just checked mine too..... 12 years!!
Don't forget, if you are employed here you can pay voluntary class 2 in the UK, so about £200 per missing year.
If you are/were unemployed, you can only pay class 3, @£800


The govt website only shows you the missing years at class3.
If you want to pay class2, you call them, they send a bill, you pay it, then start with the DD if that's what you want.


Paying up the UK NI is a bargain, even at the class 3.
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Old 27.08.2020, 14:00
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Re: Early retirement to the UK : LAMal and NI contributions

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Don't forget, if you are employed here you can pay voluntary class 2 in the UK, so about £200 per missing year.
If you are/were unemployed, you can only pay class 3, @£800


The govt website only shows you the missing years at class3.
If you want to pay class2, you call them, they send a bill, you pay it, then start with the DD if that's what you want.


Paying up the UK NI is a bargain, even at the class 3.
Definitely, absolute bargain ! Awesome, thanks.
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Old 27.08.2020, 16:00
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Re: Early retirement to the UK : LAMal and NI contributions

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Hi all,

Planning to take early retirement and return to the UK in a few years, after many years in Switzerland.

The vast majority of my pension is going to be Swiss. I do not have 10 years of contributions in the UK and won't receive a state pension. I am aware therefore that I will need to pay the LAMal for health care even during retirement in the UK. Fine, this is an agreement between the UK and Switzerland and it's normal that we pay our costs since we haven't paid NI contributions all these decades.

My question concerns NI contributions. As I plan to retire early, before the state pension age in the UK, will I be liable for NI contributions in the UK even though I'm paying the LAMal in Switzerland ? I can't find any information to confirm that I wouldn't need to pay double, which would of course be unreasonable IMO.

I believe I'll be taxed on my pension income in the UK, not at source, but I haven't figured that out yet.

Any insight much appreciated. Thanks.
You will get free health care UNTIL you take your Swiss pension, once you get the Swiss pension you would be liable to Swiss Health insurance unless you get a UK pension.
Swiss insurance is a great deal for Private health insurance, I will probably take my Swiss pension early to benefit as Private insurance premiums are usually based on risk (age on health), not so for Swiss basic insurance.
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Old 27.08.2020, 16:28
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Re: Early retirement to the UK : LAMal and NI contributions

Iím seriously thinking about this now. But Iím confused between class 2 & 3. Can I pay just class 2 @ £200 a year, and get entitlement to the full state pension? Would I get both the full UK pension & Swiss pension regardless of where Iím living?
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Old 27.08.2020, 16:38
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Re: Early retirement to the UK : LAMal and NI contributions

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Iím seriously thinking about this now. But Iím confused between class 2 & 3. Can I pay just class 2 @ £200 a year, and get entitlement to the full state pension? Would I get both the full UK pension & Swiss pension regardless of where Iím living?
You can pay class 2 contributions but there are conditions :

(extra from from CF38)

You can pay Class 2 NICs if youíre employed or self-employed abroad and if you satisfy the following conditions.
1. Youíve lived in the UK for a continuous 3-year period at any time before the period for which NICs are to be paid*, or
2. Before going abroad you paid a set amount in NICs for 3 years or more (this will be checked when you ask to pay Class 2 NICs*), and
3. In addition to conditions 1 and 2, you must also, immediately
before going abroad, have been ordinarily an employed or self-employed earner in the UK.


If you satisfy these conditions then you can apply to pay class 2 contributions as far back as 6 years, and potentially back to the tax year 2006/2007 for which HMRC has made the following statement :

HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) has made changes to extend the time limits for paying voluntary NICs for the 2006/07 to 2015/16 tax years inclusive, to ensure contributors who reach State Pension age under the new State Pension system are not disadvantaged. Those affected will have more time to pay voluntary class 2 or class 3 contributions for the years from 2006/07 to 2015/16. The extended time limits apply if:

person reaches State Pension age on or after 6 April 2016; and
person makes payment by 5 April 2023.
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Old 27.08.2020, 16:44
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Re: Early retirement to the UK : LAMal and NI contributions

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Iím seriously thinking about this now. But Iím confused between class 2 & 3. Can I pay just class 2 @ £200 a year, and get entitlement to the full state pension? Would I get both the full UK pension & Swiss pension regardless of where Iím living?
If you WERE working in CH when you left the UK yes

Yes & Yes, I will get a full UK pension even through I left the UK aged 32, had to pay class 3 back then, class 2 option is more recent.
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Old 27.08.2020, 21:21
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Re: Early retirement to the UK : LAMal and NI contributions

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If you WERE working in CH when you left the UK yes

Yes & Yes, I will get a full UK pension even through I left the UK aged 32, had to pay class 3 back then, class 2 option is more recent.
I left the UK recently aged 31. Is it worth me paying voluntary nics?
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Old 27.08.2020, 21:32
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Re: Early retirement to the UK : LAMal and NI contributions

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I left the UK recently aged 31. Is it worth me paying voluntary nics?

If it were me, for @£200 a year, I'd pay it.

It's beer money for a pension.
Ok, you can argue the toss about whether it will be available/means tested/add any scenario you like, but it's a punt worth taking.
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Old 30.08.2020, 09:38
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Re: Early retirement to the UK : LAMal and NI contributions

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I left the UK recently aged 31. Is it worth me paying voluntary nics?
I left the UK at 33. I paid in Class 2 NI contributions for myself and my husband and we now both qualify for full UK state pensions. The age at which they will be paid has increased, but it's still an absolute bargain and now at age 60 I fully appreciate that. For me, it's the cost of a couple of bottles of wine in a restaurant per year ... would get you a few more beers though!
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