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Paying UK State Pensions Voluntary Contributions from Thailand

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As I've spent a large part of my adult working life in Thailand, I'm missing a number of years national insurance contributions towards my UK state pension.
I can pay voluntary contribution back dated for a number of years to make up the amount I'll get when I eventually retire.

It appears Thai banks make transferring money to the UK Gov account rather tricky. For Bangkok Bank, one can't register the UK Gov Pensions account for internet banking under International Payee. It can only be an account in your own name.  

Kasikorn internet banking allow this but there is no option to add a reference number which is needed by the receiver. It looks like a trip to a branch is necessary but I'd prefer a more convenient way in this digital age.

Has anyone been able to do this online or even at a branch? Going to a branch of Bangkok Bank is my next option and paperwork includes passport, work permit and letter from payee.

Will welcome all and any advice.
Cheers

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Yes, I've done it successfully at a bank branch, but it was a hassle. The 'letter from payee' that you mention in the list of requirements was a sticking point that wasted a couple of months, since I had no such letter and had to request one specially from the UK Gov. What the bank wants is an 'invoice' and of course the UK Gov doesn't send out such a thing in these circumstances as it is a voluntary contribution and up to you how many backdated years you pay.

 

Their letter simply listed the amounts in each year that I was allowed to make voluntary contributions, but didn't show the calculation of the total amount (as I had requested for bank purposes). After some explaining the bank did finally accept this however and made the transfer.

 

Tip: be sure to obtain a reference number from UK Gov before transferring the money and write this very clearly on the transfer request doc that you'll fill in at your bank branch.

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Or send to a UK bank account and transfer it from there?

 

not answering the OP but related question, I am in the same boat re needing to top up UK pension. Is it worth it? Or is it just a waste of money? Many thanks.

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46 minutes ago, TTSIssues said:

Or send to a UK bank account and transfer it from there?

 

not answering the OP but related question, I am in the same boat re needing to top up UK pension. Is it worth it? Or is it just a waste of money? Many thanks.

 

Maybe the OP (like me) no longer has a bank account in the UK.

 

Regarding whether it is worth doing, you must calculate the amount of the 'investment' against the likely additional 'return'. This is simple enough to do. The key factor in that calculation is how many years you expect to live to enjoy the benefits. If you are healthy and expect a long life the return can be substantial and well worth it.

 

Another factor is the 'opportunity cost' of the amount of contribution that you decide to pay. Can you afford to part with the money now (you won't be able to get it back if you decide you need it later)? Could you invest the same amount in something that gives an even higher return?

 

In my case I paid several hundred thousand baht in voluntary contributions in order to obtain the maximum allowance once I start to take a pension. It is a risk like any other investment, but the potential ROI is way better than any bank deposit or funds.

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1 hour ago, TTSIssues said:

not answering the OP but related question, I am in the same boat re needing to top up UK pension. Is it worth it? Or is it just a waste of money? Many thanks.

I think if you already have 35 years contributions-----any more payments may be a waste .

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17 minutes ago, sanuk711 said:

I think if you already have 35 years contributions-----any more payments may be a waste .

The new pension scheme is a joke!! I have 41 years of full payments and by their calculations I am still unable to get the full pension. I start claiming next year when I am 66. Have double checked this on the Gov.UK website. I think a phone call will be order to see what is going on.  

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2 hours ago, sanuk711 said:

I think if you already have 35 years contributions-----any more payments may be a waste .

 

2 hours ago, worrab said:

The new pension scheme is a joke!! I have 41 years of full payments and by their calculations I am still unable to get the full pension. I start claiming next year when I am 66. Have double checked this on the Gov.UK website. I think a phone call will be order to see what is going on.  

one article here -

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/money/pensions/article-7240605/Why-dont-state-pension-paid-39-years-NI.html

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8 hours ago, TTSIssues said:

Or send to a UK bank account and transfer it from there?

 

not answering the OP but related question, I am in the same boat re needing to top up UK pension. Is it worth it? Or is it just a waste of money? Many thanks.

Personally I think a complete waste of time....No indexation unless you live in the UK, and now not available "currently" until age 67.  

 

(Maybe the UK also might adopt the same rules about non residents as Australia, then you would get nothing!!)

 

Also for myself taking into account how much I would need to pay it would take until I am age 82 before I get a return more than what I need to give them!

 

A nice idea, but financially a nonsense, but good luck if you think worthwhile.

Edited by Pdavies99

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7 hours ago, Jumbo1968 said:

It can cost nearly £800 a year to top up, you have to work out if it’s worth it.

https://www.moneywise.co.uk/news/2019-01-15‌‌/top-your-state-pension-now-avoid-contribution-cost-hike-april

If you're working Overseas you can top up at Class 2 rates which is £159 this year... 

AVCS.thumb.jpg.ab1dca728157f9b817ae80105fef3f8f.jpg

 

NB, there is some debate about whether it's worth backpaying before April 2015 as they re-baselined everybody's entitlement at that date and back payments for years before then may not make a difference (Mine don't seem to have so I'll be taking it up with them on my next trip to UK) 

 

 

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5 hours ago, topt said:

This is probably because you were contracted out at some point so the contributions went into another scheme for which you would be receiving a benefit - some sort of company or private pension scheme depending on your specific circumstances.

 

There have been a number of threads about this in the last couple of years on here and in the home forum and Money Mail Online has quite a few articles if you search there.

Nope, never contracted out. Having done the check for my personal circumstances, it quite clearly shows the 41 years of full payments. I will have a look at a couple of other articles and still call them to clarify.  

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