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  #41  
Old 07.04.2021, 17:12
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Re: Double Pension question

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Google Class 2 contributions it is relevant, which is why I mentioned it.

I will do some research, my first google search "uk voluntary contributions when abroad" https://www.gov.uk/national-insurance-if-you-go-abroad
I was able to get through by phone to the relevant department in HMRC yesterday. They referred me to brochure NI38 which outlines the rules regards Class 2 or Class 3.

HMRC will not advise you on the phone whether you qualify for Class 2 or not. The procedure to follow is to complete the last 2 pages of NI38 and send it by post so they contact you, which I have now done.

Here is the link to NI38 and quote from page 9:

https://www.gov.uk/government/public...ty-abroad-ni38

"You can pay Class 2 NICs if you’re employed or self-employed abroad and if you satisfy the following conditions.

1. You’ve 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 lived and worked in an EU, EEA country, Switzerland or Turkey, time spent there may help you to meet this condition. "
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  #42  
Old 07.04.2021, 17:26
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Re: Double Pension question

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Indeed although should be 'subject to taxation' in the UK, unless you choose otherwise, even through this may mean 0 tax payable, a couple of Swiss cantons seem to disrespect this.
You can choose where your UK pension is to be taxed?

I know in general you can choose to be taxed in the UK on UK income (to take advantage of the personal allowance) but it usually doesn't stop you being taxed in Switzerland.
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  #43  
Old 07.04.2021, 17:33
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Re: Double Pension question

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You can choose where your UK pension is to be taxed?

I know in general you can choose to be taxed in the UK on UK income (to take advantage of the personal allowance) but it usually doesn't stop you being taxed in Switzerland.
I thought it was a treaty obligation that pension income is taxed in the jurisdiction of that pension?
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  #44  
Old 07.04.2021, 17:33
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Re: Double Pension question

Just had a chat with a nice fella in the UK pensions department and my ostrich head is out the sand. Any Brits reading this in their 50s should take note

For us expats:

Class 3 contributions mean, roughly, 'full contribution' as if you are working in the uk

Class 2 contributions mean, roughly, much reduced contributions because you're abroad and assumed to be already paying into another state scheme

So 'all you have to do' is go to:

https://www.gov.uk/national-insurance-if-you-go-abroad

Then print out and fill in this claim form and ask to make up payments using Class 2 contributions (question 22)

https://assets.publishing.service.go...NI38_12_20.pdf

They will then come back with a verdict and if you are eligible they'll tell you how much you can pay in.

Then (according to the fella I talked to) you have to call the future pensions office and double check that if you make the advised payment what your final pension will be.

Long winded but.. for me.. if it comes off.. my total class 2 payment will be 'paid off' within 1 year of pension

All assuming of course that I make it past 68 !
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  #45  
Old 07.04.2021, 17:41
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Re: Double Pension question

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You can choose where your UK pension is to be taxed?

I know in general you can choose to be taxed in the UK on UK income (to take advantage of the personal allowance) but it usually doesn't stop you being taxed in Switzerland.
The default situation is it will be paid under PAYE for both residents & non residents.
If you fill in a DTA Individual form https://assets.publishing.service.go...Individual.pdf you will get a UK tax code NT (no tax) & payments will be made gross
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I thought it was a treaty obligation that pension income is taxed in the jurisdiction of that pension?
That is the default
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  #46  
Old 07.04.2021, 17:57
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Re: Double Pension question

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The default situation is it will be paid under PAYE for both residents & non residents.
If you fill in a DTA Individual form https://assets.publishing.service.go...Individual.pdf you will get a UK tax code NT (no tax) & payments will be made gross
Thanks but doesn't answer the question. Would you not, in either case, need to declare to the Swiss for income tax purposes?

I mean, it used to be that UK tax was taken off savings interest, that didn't mean that you didn't need to pay tax on it in Switzerland.
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  #47  
Old 07.04.2021, 18:03
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Re: Double Pension question

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OP... with the cool motorbike (sure you wanna keep riding that thing.. you might never get any pension !)
A gentlemen can never have too many motorbikes

To be on the safe side, I just bought an old Norton Certainly is a lot safer (especially as it's called Notrun at the moment and is in the garage.. )

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So we are in similar boats. I've just turned 59. I logged on to the uk gov site.

It says (all in GBP)
  • Estimate based on your National Insurance record up to 5 April 2020 = X
  • Forecast if you contribute until 5 April 2028 = Y
  • The most you can increase your forecast to is = Z = 175.20 (the max for everyone)

It then shows missing contributions going back to 2006 - 2007 = 800 per year = 14 x 800 = 11,200

So.. presumably.. I get X if I continue to do nothing

What's not clear is how I get to Y. Is that 'just pay in missing contributions' or 'pay in missing contributions AND all subsequent yearly contributions from now until retirement'.

And.. can I get to Z ?
Yep, pay all the back years, and all the forward years til you retire in (2029 in the uk?). I sent the form off to request to pay Class 2 which would be very welcome if they grant it. I did call HMRC and they explained it's common to grant for a number of years at class 2 as well as some at class 3, so fingers crossed..

I think somebody mentioned there are 35 qualifying years in the UK?
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  #48  
Old 07.04.2021, 21:37
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Re: Double Pension question

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I was able to get through by phone to the relevant department in HMRC yesterday. They referred me to brochure NI38 which outlines the rules regards Class 2 or Class 3.

HMRC will not advise you on the phone whether you qualify for Class 2 or not. The procedure to follow is to complete the last 2 pages of NI38 and send it by post so they contact you, which I have now done.

Here is the link to NI38 and quote from page 9:

https://www.gov.uk/government/public...ty-abroad-ni38

"You can pay Class 2 NICs if you’re employed or self-employed abroad and if you satisfy the following conditions.

1. You’ve 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 lived and worked in an EU, EEA country, Switzerland or Turkey, time spent there may help you to meet this condition. "
did they make any comment as to whether the whole period of any missing contributions would be paid at class 2 rate? When I called I was advised it was probable that any application to pay class 2 would be granted for some years (unspecified, depends on circumstances) but unlikely for a whole period.

It was implied that one didn't, after a certain number of years abroad, continue to qualify to pay class 2..
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  #49  
Old 07.04.2021, 22:50
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Re: Double Pension question

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did they make any comment as to whether the whole period of any missing contributions would be paid at class 2 rate?
No, the person I spoke to said I had to apply for the class 2 and they would answer
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  #50  
Old 07.04.2021, 23:45
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Re: Double Pension question

I also ran the numbers......my forecast is £175/week. I am currently 40.

"Your forecast

is not a guarantee and is based on the current law
is based on your National Insurance record up to 5 April 2020
assumes that you’ll contribute another 27 years
does not include any increase due to inflation
You currently have 9 years on your record and you need at least 10 years to get any State Pension."

I assume this means I should probably also make an application for the class 2 NI contributions, so I can secure the extra >1yr I need to qualify?
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  #51  
Old 08.04.2021, 03:08
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Re: Double Pension question

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I also ran the numbers......my forecast is £175/week. I am currently 40.

"Your forecast

is not a guarantee and is based on the current law
is based on your National Insurance record up to 5 April 2020
assumes that you’ll contribute another 27 years
does not include any increase due to inflation
You currently have 9 years on your record and you need at least 10 years to get any State Pension."

I assume this means I should probably also make an application for the class 2 NI contributions, so I can secure the extra >1yr I need to qualify?
That's what I thought but it seems not if you've made up the shortfall in pension contributions in Switzerland or the EEA. Nevertheless the class 2 years are very much worth paying as it's pocket money.
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  #52  
Old 08.04.2021, 08:11
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Re: Double Pension question

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Thanks but doesn't answer the question. Would you not, in either case, need to declare to the Swiss for income tax purposes?
Residents of Switzerland have to declare world-wide income, so clearly the answer is yes. Declaring & being taxed on are 2 different things.
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  #53  
Old 08.04.2021, 09:11
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Re: Double Pension question

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did they make any comment as to whether the whole period of any missing contributions would be paid at class 2 rate? When I called I was advised it was probable that any application to pay class 2 would be granted for some years (unspecified, depends on circumstances) but unlikely for a whole period.

It was implied that one didn't, after a certain number of years abroad, continue to qualify to pay class 2..
He said 'just click the class 2 box' and it will be assessed by 'the team'.

It's a bit frustrating that whether you get to pay in on Class 2 is all shrouded in mystery...
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  #54  
Old 08.04.2021, 09:55
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Re: Double Pension question

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did they make any comment as to whether the whole period of any missing contributions would be paid at class 2 rate? When I called I was advised it was probable that any application to pay class 2 would be granted for some years (unspecified, depends on circumstances) but unlikely for a whole period.

It was implied that one didn't, after a certain number of years abroad, continue to qualify to pay class 2..
I left the UK in 1994. Following a thread on here, I contacted HMRC three or four years ago and asked to pay back 10 year's worth of contributions for myself and for my husband and requested that we pay Class 2 contributions. We filled out the relevant forms and received notification that we could pay back all of the 10 years at the Class 2 rate and continue to pay at that rate for future voluntary contributions. I am now all paid up and my husband has another year to pay.
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  #55  
Old 08.04.2021, 15:22
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Re: Double Pension question

There is I think a wrong assumption here. I get state pensions from AVS, USA, UK and Québec, all partial based on years worked and in the case of Switzerland, voluntary participation. I remember when I obtained facilitated Swiss naturalisation I was offered the opportunity to pay voluntary AVS contributions based on worldwide earnings for work, or if unemployed then on wealth, and if a student then exempt. I reported to the AVS office at the Swiss Embassy in London. There is, or was, a similar office in Montreal. The London office closed at a certain point: persons living in the EEA and participating in a local state pension programme were no longer eligible for voluntary AVS contributions -- but that rule was not retroactive. I continued to contribute from London until i retired. There's some info on that in French here: "vous résidez dans un État situé en dehors de l’espace UE/AELE (question 7)". https://www.bsv.admin.ch/bsv/fr/home...herte/ahv.html

The upshot is that I would like my 50-y.o. London-based daughter to make voluntary AVS contributions but unless the rule has changed because of Brexit she can't. My US Social Security is reduced by 2/3 on account of the Windfall Elimination Provision. The WEP formula is quite complicated and ignores years of "substantial US earnings". SS is skewed to benefit disproportionately the low-paid, and any claimant who has participated in a foreign state pension programme, or worked for a federal or state agency that was not subject to FICA/SET (which means all federal agencies except the military before 1984 and a few states and territories (bankrupt ones like IL an PR come to mind) or certain religious organisations, either get no SS or are subject to the WEP for years when they did covered work.)

In general, voluntary contributions, even the expensive UK ones (£880 a year for Class 3, and the current rate applies even for paying in the back six years you are allowed to) are worthwhile if you are in good health. It may also pay to delay claiming benefits in those countries that add to your benefit proportionately (in the US I think it works out to 8% a year). In the USA, SS pays a pension of 50% of the higher-benefitting spouse's pension to the other spouse if it works out to her (or his) advantage. I don't think many countries do that. One of my sons, now in the USA, has 33 years of NIC stamp credits: it will definitely pay him to contribute Class 3 for 2 years. He has US/Swiss but not UK nationality but he has "settled status" under the Brexit rules: he just has to visit the UK once every four years and be able to prove it.

I contributed (for salary as a director of a small, now defunct, Canadian family company) to RRQ from the first days it was established. Canada has a different means of benefiting the low-paid and the poor: it offers needs-based Old Age Assistance but that has residence requirements. I was a border worker and though I had residence in both NYS and Quebec (and two driver licences, etc. etc.) I wouldn't qualify for that. Since I worked for the USG the issue of double taxation didn't arise. An acquaintance who was a US Customs inspector lived with his Canadian wife in Quebec, more or less tax free except for the IRS and maybe NYS and VT, at least until retirement. Drifting off the subject a bit, NYS does not tax federal pensions because it doesn't tax its own state pensions and the (Supreme, I think) Court said it couldn't discriminate. States do not sign on to federal tax treaties but their taxes and their pensions and salaries count as US Government ones for most foreign (but not all Canadian province) tax systems, some of which have reciprocal arrangements for tax credits with bordering states.

There is some concern that Boris Johnson might revoke all or part of the social security totalisation agreements with EEA countries. He can't revoke the USA one. It happens I was present for the early pre-negotiations for that in the 1970s and any country that does not give equal treatment to American residents gets zero social security pension for theirs, so it's a real "chantage". If only Canada, NZ, Australia and other places where Brits tend to retire to stood ground on that. But no, and British retirees don't get COLAs if they live in a country without a totalisation agreement guaranteeing equal treatment. As with FATCA, most of the world tends to fold when the USG makes some financial or tax demand.

Finally: Class 2 NICs abroad were supposed to be abolished a year or two ago (an economy move, no surprise there). But it seems not to have happened. My UK citizen daughter in the USA who has 20 or so years of NICs could benefit. Unlike her brother she gets a personal allowance: she is taxed on a small amount of rent she gets from a flat they own. He has to rely on a foreign tax credit against US income tax. Swiss only get a UK personal tax credit if they live in Switzerland.

Last edited by Caryl; 08.04.2021 at 16:09.
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  #56  
Old 09.04.2021, 16:55
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Re: Double Pension question

To respond to the tax issue, all my foreign pensions are paid out gross without any deductions. I'm not resident in any of the countries concerned (UK, France and Germany) and both France and Germany helpfully send me income slips each year. The UK deosn't seem to understand what they are, so neither I nor any of my other UK expats friends have ever managed to obtain one.
I therefore declare my foreign pensions here in Switzerland, though it's not terribly obvious (at least in Vaudtax) how to do so. I did call up the helpline and they were helpful.
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  #57  
Old 09.04.2021, 17:10
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Re: Double Pension question

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To respond to the tax issue, all my foreign pensions are paid out gross without any deductions. I'm not resident in any of the countries concerned (UK, France and Germany) and both France and Germany helpfully send me income slips each year. The UK deosn't seem to understand what they are, so neither I nor any of my other UK expats friends have ever managed to obtain one.
I therefore declare my foreign pensions here in Switzerland, though it's not terribly obvious (at least in Vaudtax) how to do so. I did call up the helpline and they were helpful.
Be aware that the UK has a £12,500 tax free limit, so if your UK pension was £12,501 you tax deduction would be £0.20 yet the entire amount was 'subject to taxation in the UK' it's also true of amounts where 0 tax is payable although some cantons may take a different view. Unless you filled in a DT form to the contrary that is the default position. It still needs to be declared in CH, but hopefully should not be further taxed.
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Old 15.04.2021, 23:33
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Re: Double Pension question

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There is some concern that Boris Johnson might revoke all or part of the social security totalisation agreements with EEA countries.
My understanding is that if you started being covered by contributing to the UK state pension before Brexit happened, you are part of the withdrawal agreement, and any later changes will not apply to you, because of the WA.
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Be aware that the UK has a £12,500 tax free limit, so if your UK pension was £12,501 you tax deduction would be £0.20 yet the entire amount was 'subject to taxation in the UK' it's also true of amounts where 0 tax is payable although some cantons may take a different view. Unless you filled in a DT form to the contrary that is the default position.
I think tax treaties that follow the OECD model are all supposed to treat an amount that is within scope of tax as 'subject to tax', even if 0 tax was levied. If you ever need to argue this with a kanton, look up the explanatory texts to the OECD model treaties.
Disclaimer: it is complicated though and it would be best to employ a tax expert in both local and international tax!
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  #59  
Old 02.06.2021, 17:47
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Re: Double Pension question

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HMRC will not advise you on the phone whether you qualify for Class 2 or not. The procedure to follow is to complete the last 2 pages of NI38 and send it by post so they contact you, which I have now done.
Excellent news: HMRC have confirmed that I can buy 15 missing years NI contributions at the cheaper class 2 rate of GBP 158.60/yr

Each year bought adds GBP 5.13/wk to the UK state pension, or GBP 267 /yr so it is a good deal.

Buying these years would bring my state pension to ~GBP 141.86 per week (GBP 7400/yr or CHF 9400/yr)

To get the max state pension of GBP 179.60 /wk I would then need to keep making contributions for the next 7-8 years.

For missing years up to and including 2016-17 the final time limit is 5 April 2023.

If I didn't buy the full 15 years it would still be possible to buy more years prospectively however I am doing it now before the rules change.

State pension is currently protected against inflation by the UK's government "triple lock". Who knows if that will change in the future but the cost is relatively low anyway.

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did they make any comment as to whether the whole period of any missing contributions would be paid at class 2 rate?
The only exception vs. what I wrote above is that I didn't work for 12 months during my time in CH. For those months HMRC say I need to pay class 3 contributions at the higher rate of GBP 800 per year because voluntary class 2 contributions can only be paid for each paid week of employment / self-employment abroad.
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Old 02.06.2021, 20:23
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Re: Double Pension question

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Could you please link some info on this?
In relation to being self employed (in Switzerland), when I neared claiming my UK pension I wrote to them seeing if I could make up some (more) missed years and the standard response letter mentioned various options, including being self-employed in the last 10 years, which I was.

For reasons I never asked and don‘t understand my UK state pension is more because of this. It is currently over £200 a week...
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