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You can claim State Pension abroad if you’ve paid enough UK National Insurance contributions to qualify, for which you need 10 years of National Insurance payments.
Previously, you were entitled to a full pension after 30 years of National Insurance contributions, it’s now 35.
The good news is yes you can. People must usually pay the voluntary contributions within six years of the year in question, although there are some exceptions. The cost of the extra contributions varies depending on which system you qualify under but everyone can top up their pension in this way if they have gaps.
You can usually pay voluntary contributions for the past six years. The deadline is 5 April each year. So you have until 5 April 2020 to make up for gaps for the tax year 2013 to 2014.
You can sometimes pay for gaps from more than six years ago, depending on your age. Pensioners have 6 years after you reach state pension age to increase their state pension. if you’re a man born between 6 April 1945 and 5 April 1950 or a woman born between 6 April 1950 and 5 October 1952 If you’re a man born after 5 April 1951 or a woman born after 5 April 1953, you have until 5 April 2023 to pay voluntary contributions to make up for gaps between April 2006 and April 2016.
This depends on your circumstance but is somewhere between £14 and £15 per week. This will add an extra £4.31 (£129.20/30) per week or £223.95 a year in 2019/20. It will take around three-and-a-half years of receiving your state pension to recoup your outlay, and you’d get the extra pension for the rest of your life.
Should I do it?
Voluntary contributions won’t always increase your state pension, so you’ll need to find out if you’ll benefit from plugging the gaps. It may be a good idea to consider it if you’re close to state pension age and don’t have enough qualifying years to get the full state pension.