FAQ

Some questions we are often asked.

Is the UK State Pension taxable in Ireland?

Just like the Irish contributory State Pension, it is as taxable as any income you have, subject to your allowances etc.

At UK State Pensions Abroad, we do not offer pension advice; we offer specialised information and implementation assistance on UK State Pension entitlements. For pension advice contact your financial advisor.

Can I claim my UK State Pension myself?

It is possible to do it yourself. Having lived in the UK for 5 years, we went through the procedure directly ourselves, subsequently gained experience at it helping other Irish people through the process, and ultimately became a registered agent for HMRC.

Should you wish to explore the process yourself, you can find the relevant information and forms from the UK Department of Work and Pensions (https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/department-for-work-pensions ), and write to them, completing the forms and requesting a Pension Forecast Statement. 

Furthermore, you can find forms on His Majesty’s Revenue and Customs website (https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/hm-revenue-customs). These forms can be printed with their respective 33 pages of explanatory notes, completed and sent by mail.

At UK State Pensions Abroad, we do not offer pension advice; we offer specialised information and implementation assistance on UK State Pension entitlements. For pension advice contact your financial advisor.

Will this impact my rights s to the Irish Contributory State Pension?

The Department of Social Protection have answered this from an enquiry in May 2022. “Your UK pension does not impact the personal rate of your Irish State pension”.

When you redeem extra years on your UK State Pension, you are making an AVC (Additional Voluntary Contribution) to your UK State Pension. Effectively, you are accessing (probably) the best value AVCs that exist. If your contributions are assessed as Class 2 by HMRC, the cost of all your contributions are paid back within 6 months on retirements, and you enjoy the benefits for your lifetime. Even if you are assessed as Class 3, the payback is just 2 years.

Your UK State Pension can allow you to double the value of your Irish Contributory State Pension!

At UK State Pensions Abroad, we do not offer pension advice; we offer specialised information and implementation assistance on UK State Pension entitlements. For pension advice contact your financial advisor.

Is Brexit a factor?

Happily, the agreement concluded between the UK and Irish Governments in 2019 reaffirms that existing cross-border social security arrangements, including UK State Pension, will continue post Brexit.  the Under the CTA (Common Travel Area) Irish citizens have access to the UK state pension in the same way as the British so, we have the ability to boost our UK state pension rights while outside the UK (subject to approval from HM Revenue & Customs).

At UK State Pensions Abroad, we do not offer pension advice; we offer specialised information and implementation assistance on UK State Pension entitlements. For pension advice contact your financial advisor.

What is the Triple Lock Guarantee on UK State Pensions

Annual increases to the UK State Pension are based on the Triple Lock provisions introduced by the British Government in 2010. This states that the UK State Pension benefits increase by whichever of these is higher of 2.5%, the UK rate of Inflation, and annual UK earnings. Effectively this means a minimum of 2.5% growth per annum, and more if either of the other 2 are higher. In 2023 the annual increase was 10.1%.

At UK State Pensions Abroad, we do not offer pension advice; we offer specialised information and implementation assistance on UK State Pension entitlements. For pension advice contact your financial advisor.

How much does it cost?

Phase 1 Fee to UK State Pension Abroad is €275 (inc vat) payable on registration

Phase 2 Fee to UK State Pension Abroad is €275 (inc vat), payable should you wish to progress to Phase 2.

At UK State Pensions Abroad, we do not offer pension advice; we offer specialised information and implementation assistance on UK State Pension entitlements. For pension advice contact your financial advisor.

How do I know in advance how much it will cost to claim back each year of UK State Insurance?

Simply put, you cannot know 100% in advance whether you will be assessed as Class 2 (cost appx £161 per year) or Class 3 (cost appx £800 per year). This assessment is made by HM Revenue and Customs on a case by case basis. What we do know is that if you left the UK while in UK employment paying Natl Insurance there) and then commenced employment overseas (in this case Rep of Ireland) almost immediately paying PRSI, then it is very likely you will be assessed as Class 2, the favourable of the 2 options.
At UK State Pensions Abroad, we do not offer pension advice; we offer specialised information and implementation assistance on UK State Pension entitlements. For pension advice contact your financial advisor.

How long does it take?

Getting responses from Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs can take many months. It is slow but it does yield a response. If you are planning to buy back up to 17  UK State Pension years, this must be filled with HMRC before 5th April 2025. Therefore taking action immediately is very important for you to achieve this deadline. 

At UK State Pensions Abroad, we do not offer pension advice; we offer specialised information and implementation assistance on UK State Pension entitlements. For pension advice contact your financial advisor.

I don't remember my UK National Insurance number

That should not be a problem. We can help by requesting this from HM Revenue and Customs for you as the first step in helping you claim your UK State Pension. If you’ve paid National Insurance they will have your details and we can help unearth this critical information.

At UK State Pensions Abroad, we do not offer pension advice; we offer specialised information and implementation assistance on UK State Pension entitlements. For pension advice contact your financial advisor.

Can I still Apply Next Year?

Of course you can. The only issue is that you will only be able to reach back up to 7 years after 2024, as opposed to 17 years if you have applied before then. Given that His Majesty’s Revenue and Customs take 35-40 weeks to respond, this deadline is only achievable by immediate action.

At UK State Pensions Abroad, we do not offer pension advice; we offer specialised information and implementation assistance on UK State Pension entitlements. For pension advice contact your financial advisor.

I have only worked for 1 year in the UK

Unless you have worked a minimum of 3 years paying UK National Insurance, it is extremely unlikely you can act to achieve a UK State Pension.

At UK State Pensions Abroad, we do not offer pension advice; we offer specialised information and implementation assistance on UK State Pension entitlements. For pension advice contact your financial advisor.

I am thinking of going back to the UK

This should not be an issue. You can still, if you wish, claim some UK State Pension years that you may be missing, and if you resume work in the UK continue to pay UK National Insurance in future years to enhance your State Pension.

At UK State Pensions Abroad, we do not offer pension advice; we offer specialised information and implementation assistance on UK State Pension entitlements. For pension advice contact your financial advisor.

I am Irish but live in Spain

There is no reason you cannot claim a UK State Pension from Spain or any country. 

At UK State Pensions Abroad, we do not offer pension advice; we offer specialised information and implementation assistance on UK State Pension entitlements. For pension advice contact your financial advisor.

Will this affect my rights to the Irish Contributory State Pension?

The Department of Social Protection have answered our specific enquiry on this topic “Your UK pension does not impact the personal rate of your Irish State pension”.

When you redeem extra years on your UK State Pension, you are making an AVC (Additional Voluntary Contribution) to your UK State Pension. Effectively, you are accessing (probably) the best value AVCs that exist. If your contributions are assessed as Class 2 by HMRC, the cost of all your contributions are paid back within 6 months on retirements, and you enjoy the benefits for your lifetime. Even if you are assessed as Class 3, the payback is just 2-3 years.

Your UK State Pension can allow you to double the value of your Irish Contributory State Pension!

What is the UK State Pension?

The UK State Pension is a contributory pension which is funded by the UK government and provides a pension amount in 2023 of up to £203.85 per week on reaching pension age. This amount usually rises year on year (+10.1% in 2023), and is subject to a unique Triple Lock, guaranteeing a worthwhile boost annually towards your final amount when retirement beckons.

When will the UK State Pension commence? For people currently above 60 years in 2021, the retirement age is between 66-67 years old. Generally, for those who reach 60 after 2021, the pension payments begin on their 67th birthday. (It should be noted that UK government has a plan to extend the retirement age, but this would be very gradual should it happen).

It is worth noting that the State Pension scheme was revised in 2016 with a new State Pension being introduced. the new State Pension applies to those claiming benefits in the years before then.

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I'm very happy to recommend Mel's service. He brought me through the whole process with detailed instructions at each stage and I'm very happy with the outcome. From previous experience, this would have been much more difficult working directly with HMRC.

Stephen - Dublin

Excellent process, great service
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Great service. I tried previously to sort out my UK pension contributions from abroad but found it to be quite complicated. I heard Mel on Newstalk last year and decided to give it a shot. The process was made really easy using their online questionnaire, far easier than the HMRC form itself! There is some waiting in the middle of the process but you will have that wait whether you do it by yourself or with UK State Pension Abroad. The results of the process were great, with Mel's guidance. He's also very quick to respond to emails. Would highly recommend to anyone who's been away from the UK and wants to keep their contributions up to date

Eoin - Galway

Great service
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Mel and company made a complex task very simple. And very good value for money. The thoughts of navigating the department’s of works and pensions along with HMRC is daunting but Mel and team took that pressure away and myself and my wife are delighted with the results. Thank you.

Patrick - Waterford

UK pensions made easy.
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Fantastic service and a very positive experience. Mel took care of all the paperwork and simplified the process. Great communication throughout. I would highly recommend this service.

Aisling - Donegal

Fantastic service and a very positive
UK Sate Pension Abroad