Forum Home» Pensions, Annuities & Retirement Planning

New State Pension qualifying years and contributions paid in other EU countries

New Post Advanced Search

New State Pension qualifying years and contributions paid in other EU countries

15 replies 1.1K views
jgmvejgmve Forumite
4 posts
I worked for six years in the Republic of Ireland and paid PRSI contributions. I assumed that those contributions would be regarded as 'qualifying years' for my state pension (New State Pension) but it does not appear to be the case as I have been asked to pay further NI contributions. After several unsuccessful attempts to clarify the situation with DWP, I am still no further forward, having been passed from one department to another and back again. I understand that UK NI contributions are taken into account when calculating an Irish state pension. I assumed there was a reciprocal agreement with Ireland and other EU countries. Does the New State Pension take contributions made in other EU countries into account when calculating qualifying years? Has anyone experienced similar difficulties in trying to establish whether this is the case?
«1

Replies

  • xylophonexylophone Forumite
    34.7K posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper
    ✭✭✭✭✭
    Have you obtained a new state pension forecast?

    https://www.gov.uk/check-state-pension

    And see https://europa.eu/youreurope/citizens/work/retire-abroad/state-pensions-abroad/index_en.htm

    When do you become eligible for state pension?
  • JezRJezR Forumite
    1.6K posts
    Ninth Anniversary 1,000 Posts
    ✭✭✭
    They count as qualifying years if you are below the number required to get a UK state pension at all, ie ten years (similarly UK contributions count towards the minimum in the Irish scheme, which is also ten years generally now). They do not add though to the number of years actually in the UK scheme. Who has "asked (you) to pay further NI contributions"?
  • edited 21 August 2019 at 3:22PM
    woolly_wombatwoolly_wombat Forumite
    715 posts
    Part of the Furniture 500 Posts
    ✭✭
    edited 21 August 2019 at 3:22PM
    The six years spent working in the Republic of Ireland will only be taken into account in so far as they would count towards the minimum 10 years to qualify for a pension in the UK. This is called the EU 'principle of aggregation of periods'.
    https://europa.eu/youreurope/citizens/work/retire-abroad/state-pensions-abroad/index_en.htm
    Eligibility periods
    In some EU countries, you must have worked for a minimum period of time to be entitled to a pension.

    In such cases, the pension authority has to take into account all the periods you've worked in other EU countries, as if you'd been working in that country all along, to assess whether you're entitled to a pension ( principle of aggregation of periods).

    If it fails to do so, contact our assistance services for help.

    Sample story
    Tom worked for 4 years in Germany and 32 years in Portugal.

    In Germany, you must have worked for at least 5 years to be entitled to a pension. Tom would not normally qualify for the national pension scheme in Germany as he had worked there for only 4 years.

    However, the German pension authority had to take into account the years Tom worked in Portugal. It recognised his entitlement and is paying him a pension for the 4 years worked in Germany.

    I assume you are resident now in the UK. You will have to apply separately for your RI pension; under EU rules you are supposed to apply via the International Pension Centre https://www.gov.uk/international-pension-centre
    I don't know how long it takes for an Irish pension, but I can say that it takes many months in the case of a French state pension.

    You will need to make additional NI contributions if you haven't got enough for the new increased so called 'flat rate' UK State Pension; well worth doing if you can afford to do so.

    How close are you to retirement?
  • jgmvejgmve Forumite
    4 posts
    Thank you for your message. Yes, I received a new pension forecast from DWP stating that I needed to pay contributions for four more years to qualify for a full state pension. I am due to receive my pension in 2022.
  • jgmvejgmve Forumite
    4 posts
    Thank you for your reply. The DWP said I needed to continue to contribute until 2022 when I retire. My NI record shows six years missing contributions - the years I contributed in the Republic of Ireland.
  • jgmvejgmve Forumite
    4 posts
    Thank you for your reply. I don't have enough contributions to qualify for a separate pension in the Republic of Ireland, having contributed only six years. I have more than 10 years' NI contributions and therefore already qualify for a new state pension.
  • nigelbbnigelbb Forumite
    3.4K posts
    Seventh Anniversary 1,000 Posts Name Dropper
    ✭✭✭✭
    jgmve wrote: »
    Thank you for your reply. I don't have enough contributions to qualify for a separate pension in the Republic of Ireland, having contributed only six years. I have more than 10 years' NI contributions and therefore already qualify for a new state pension.
    Just as the Irish contributions would count if you were under 10 years for the UK state pension so your UK qualifying years will count if you need 10 years minimum for your Irish pension. In this case you will get paid a pension for 6 years pro rata.

    Don't forget that if you worked in two EU countries it's double bubble pension-wise so you can probably buy added years in the Irish scheme. If your situation were reversed even though the majority of your working life had been in Ireland you would have still been able to purchase missing years for your UK pension & if resident overseas pay Class 2 contributions at a rate of £150 for each added year. Quite a bargain for a £250/year index-linked pension for the rest of your life!
  • woolly_wombatwoolly_wombat Forumite
    715 posts
    Part of the Furniture 500 Posts
    ✭✭
    nigelbb wrote: »
    Just as the Irish contributions would count if you were under 10 years for the UK state pension so your UK qualifying years will count if you need 10 years minimum for your Irish pension. In this case you will get paid a pension for 6 years pro rata.

    Don't forget that if you worked in two EU countries it's double bubble pension-wise so you can probably buy added years in the Irish scheme. If your situation were reversed even though the majority of your working life had been in Ireland you would have still been able to purchase missing years for your UK pension & if resident overseas pay Class 2 contributions at a rate of £150 for each added year. Quite a bargain for a £250/year index-linked pension for the rest of your life!
    Well worth investigating buying added years in the Irish scheme.

    In the light of current uncertainty I would be inclined to make that a priority right now.

    You still have plenty of time to plug the gap in your UK state pension.
  • eastcorkrameastcorkram Forumite
    181 posts
    Sixth Anniversary 100 Posts Name Dropper
    I've never got a straight answer on this , either on here, in person at a social welfare office in Ireland, or on the phone to the relevant dept here in the UK.
    I'll have enough for full state pension in the UK. I also have 17 years of full class one PRSI contributions in Ireland.

    So I can see what I'll get from here, but no idea if I'll get anything for the 17 full years in Ireland.
Sign In or Register to comment.

Quick links

Essential Money | Who & Where are you? | Work & Benefits | Household and travel | Shopping & Freebies | About MSE | The MoneySavers Arms | Covid-19 & Coronavirus Support