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    • jgmve
    • By jgmve 21st Aug 19, 8:36 AM
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    jgmve
    New State Pension qualifying years and contributions paid in other EU countries
    • #1
    • 21st Aug 19, 8:36 AM
    New State Pension qualifying years and contributions paid in other EU countries 21st Aug 19 at 8:36 AM
    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?
Page 1
    • xylophone
    • By xylophone 21st Aug 19, 9:55 AM
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    xylophone
    • #2
    • 21st Aug 19, 9:55 AM
    • #2
    • 21st Aug 19, 9:55 AM
    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?
    • JezR
    • By JezR 21st Aug 19, 12:40 PM
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    JezR
    • #3
    • 21st Aug 19, 12:40 PM
    • #3
    • 21st Aug 19, 12:40 PM
    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"?
    • woolly_wombat
    • By woolly_wombat 21st Aug 19, 2:09 PM
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    woolly_wombat
    • #4
    • 21st Aug 19, 2:09 PM
    • #4
    • 21st Aug 19, 2:09 PM
    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?
    Last edited by woolly_wombat; 21-08-2019 at 2:22 PM. Reason: clarity
    • jgmve
    • By jgmve 22nd Aug 19, 9:12 AM
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    jgmve
    • #5
    • 22nd Aug 19, 9:12 AM
    • #5
    • 22nd Aug 19, 9:12 AM
    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.
    • jgmve
    • By jgmve 22nd Aug 19, 9:15 AM
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    jgmve
    • #6
    • 22nd Aug 19, 9:15 AM
    • #6
    • 22nd Aug 19, 9:15 AM
    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.
    • jgmve
    • By jgmve 22nd Aug 19, 9:19 AM
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    jgmve
    • #7
    • 22nd Aug 19, 9:19 AM
    • #7
    • 22nd Aug 19, 9:19 AM
    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.
    • nigelbb
    • By nigelbb 22nd Aug 19, 9:35 AM
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    nigelbb
    • #8
    • 22nd Aug 19, 9:35 AM
    • #8
    • 22nd Aug 19, 9:35 AM
    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.
    Originally posted by jgmve
    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_wombat
    • By woolly_wombat 22nd Aug 19, 10:42 AM
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    woolly_wombat
    • #9
    • 22nd Aug 19, 10:42 AM
    • #9
    • 22nd Aug 19, 10:42 AM
    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!
    Originally posted by nigelbb
    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.
    • eastcorkram
    • By eastcorkram 22nd Aug 19, 12:14 PM
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    eastcorkram
    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.
    • xylophone
    • By xylophone 22nd Aug 19, 12:48 PM
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    xylophone
    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.
    Had you seen this?

    https://www.citizensinformation.ie/en/social_welfare/social_welfare_payments/older_and_retired_people/state_pension_contributory.html

    https://www.irishtimes.com/life-and-style/abroad/can-i-claim-an-irish-and-uk-state-pension-if-i-ve-paid-into-both-1.3543069
    • woolly_wombat
    • By woolly_wombat 22nd Aug 19, 1:51 PM
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    woolly_wombat
    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.
    Originally posted by eastcorkram
    You have more than the minimum 10 years contributions for your pension in Ireland, and you also have enough for a full UK state pension.

    You look to be in a sweet spot despite Brexit.

    It appears from xylophone's link to the Irish Times article that it is only possible to pay additional voluntary contributions to the Irish scheme if you already have the minimum 10 years.

    However the other link is interesting:
    https://www.citizensinformation.ie/en/social_welfare/social_welfare_payments/older_and_retired_people/state_pension_contributory.html
    Brexit and the State Pension (Contributory)

    After Brexit, you will continue to get your Irish State Pension (Contributory) or UK State Pension, as before. Irish and UK citizens living in Ireland can still benefit from social insurance contributions made when working in the UK.
    Last edited by woolly_wombat; 26-08-2019 at 5:44 PM. Reason: Correction
    • eastcorkram
    • By eastcorkram 22nd Aug 19, 4:23 PM
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    eastcorkram
    That first link from xylophone implies that you can get the Irish OR the UK one. I've never seen it mentioned that anyone can get both. There's a possibility I could end up living there after retirement, so I guess I could use some of my UK years to make the Irish one a full pension .

    I'm certainly not counting on getting something from the time there, but if I could know in advance , for definite, that I was going to, I'd probably change my plans and dates a little.
    • nigelbb
    • By nigelbb 22nd Aug 19, 6:13 PM
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    nigelbb
    That first link from xylophone implies that you can get the Irish OR the UK one. I've never seen it mentioned that anyone can get both. There's a possibility I could end up living there after retirement, so I guess I could use some of my UK years to make the Irish one a full pension .

    I'm certainly not counting on getting something from the time there, but if I could know in advance , for definite, that I was going to, I'd probably change my plans and dates a little.
    Originally posted by eastcorkram
    You should get both state pensions. They are both contributory & independent of one another. I have state pensions from both France & the UK. The EU websites that describe what happens if you work & earn a pension in more than one EU state are confusing as thy imply that you get just one pension made up of sums from each country pro rata. This is not true. What happens is that you apply through one pension service who then pass on your details to the other service who contact you & then deal with you directly. The years in each scheme count as qualifying years e.g towards the UK's minimum of 10 years but for nothing else. Each pension was earned independently with contributions & each is paid independently.

    If you have worked in two EU countries it's double bubble pension-wise as once you have been enrolled in a scheme you can generally pay voluntary contributions for years when you were working in the other country. The Irish system looks very complicated but if you take the UK n theory you could work 5 years here the move to Ireland for the rest of your working life but continue to make Class 2 NI contributions in the UK at 150/year. For total voluntary contributions of just 4500 you would buy an index-linked pension of 8767/year which you could take alongside the pension you earned working in Ireland.
    Last edited by nigelbb; 23-08-2019 at 5:00 AM.
    • Rich2808
    • By Rich2808 23rd Aug 19, 3:15 PM
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    Rich2808
    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.
    Originally posted by woolly_wombat
    Irish state pension is also far more generous than the UK one – even now. So worth keeping some entitlement – and as has been said buying added years.

    My father only worked for 10 years in Ireland in a low wage job in the late 1950s/early 60s – but 30 years here.

    He received 240 euro a week from the Irish authorities in state pension – including a 100 euro top up as my mother ‘s UK state pension was below 100 a week - 60 more than his UK state pension (including SERPS). In effect the Irish government topped up my mum's UK state pension based on my father's Irish PRSI contributions alone (all before they married) despite her never having worked there (she worked for the NHS as a nurse for a decade!). Shows how shockingly poor our state pension is!

    There is an Irish specific forum covering those issues – which is a useful source of Irish advice.

    https://www.askaboutmoney.com/
    Last edited by Rich2808; 23-08-2019 at 3:19 PM.
    • lisboa84
    • By lisboa84 24th Aug 19, 3:24 PM
    • 38 Posts
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    lisboa84
    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.
    Originally posted by jgmve
    As others have said, I also believe that you will be entitled to something from the Ireland state pension.
    But it's difficult to ascertain what exactly you will be able to claim when the time comes as Ireland is currently transitioning from one state pension method to another. I think at the moment they're actually overlapping, but a new total contribution approach has been introduced and is supposed to be fully rolled out in 2020 but may have been delayed because of Brexit taking priority.

    So it's going to mirror the UK method eventually, the rumours are that 40 years will get you the maximum pension amount of 248.30 Euros a week.

    So at the moment I would expect you get a pro rata 6/40 of that.

    Did you work 6 full calendar years?
    Ireland has a pre-entry credit rule, whereas no matter which date of the year you started work in Ireland, they will give you credits backdated to January 1st of that year. So depending on your dates, you could end up with 7 years on your record.

    I don't think you said how old you are but note that in 2021 the Ireland state pension age will rise to 67 years.
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