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UK state pension - really valuable and really cheap for migrants

I am a qualified Chartered Tax Adviser and I came to Australia 2 years ago to work for a firm of accountants dealing with the pension issues affecting migrants from the UK. I found that when people leave the UK they are concerned about selling their house for the right price and getting a good exchange rate, but they don't really pay too much attention to any other financial issues. In my experience this is a big mistake.

Entitlement to the UK state pension is really valuable and by taking a few simple steps before leaving the UK, you can secure entitlement to the full pension for only £2.40 per week, rather then the usual voluntary contribution rate of £12.05 per week.

If you qualify for the full pension, the UK government will then pay about £5000 to a single person and £8000 to a married couple. Unlike superannuation, which can run out, this pension is payable for the rest of your life. A single person would have to save well over $100,000 in their supefund to get this amount of income - even more for a married couple.

Because the UK state pension is not means tested (unlike the Australian Age Pension) you can recive this in addition to payments from your superfund, or the Australian Age Pension (if you qualify).

I took the right steps before leaving the UK to qualify for the low contribution rate. I pay about £125 to the UK government once a year and it's great to know that I will have a secure income for my retirement regardless of what happens to my superfund. If you want help in securing this valuable income at the low contribution rate, click here for further information.

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Comment by Kay Lyness on November 20, 2009 at 13:35
Jackie's advice is important because if you have paid anything into a UK state pension, you will still get that back at retirement age (which is rising in the UK), after you have migrated. However if you stopped contributing when you left the UK, your payments are based on the pension levels as they were at the time you left as opposed to a UK resident where the payments rise in line with inflation. I am assuming (but don't quote me on this) that if as Jackie advises, you keep paying a small contribution, then your payments upon retirement should hopefully be the level which is current at your retirement age and not as they were when you emigrated.
Plus the good news is that you now only need 30 years ofcontributions to qualify for the full UK state pension.
Comment by John on November 20, 2009 at 5:41
Thanks for the info Jackie

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