UK State Pension, When in Thailand

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tonika
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UK State Pension, When in Thailand

Post by tonika » October 30, 2012, 12:19 pm

Any expats give me advice on the following, regarding my UK State Pension. I have been living in Udon since June, having bought a house here with my wife (Thai). I do intend to settle permanently in Thailand , although I still have a house that I rent out at present in the UK, and may have to go back there at some point in the future to sell it. But because of the property market downturn in the UK at the moment, I might have to stay there for a few months, in order to do so.

The problem is, I'm due to receive my UK State Pension in a few months time, and having read the UK Government Form for receiving your pension abroad, which involes a lot of hassle sending documentation/certificates etc., I was wondering if I should just use my UK address, and have the pension paid into my UK bank account, to get round this. Would this be legal ?

Any replies appreciated.



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arjay
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UK State Pension, When in Thailand

Post by arjay » October 30, 2012, 3:49 pm

I would try and view it, and indeed present it, that currently you are still "ordinarily resident" in the UK, (and simply spending some time in Thailand - i.e. an extended holiday). And.... apply for your pension using your UK address and have it sent to your UK bank. That way you should continue to receive the annual cost of living increases. (I assume the tax and pension authorities in the UK currently only know and will be using your UK address and consider you to be UK resident. It's preferable from a pension perspective to try and retain UK residency.

If (later) you decide to stay permanently in Thailand and/or become "Non-UK resident" you would then be obliged to tell the tax and pension authorities, in which case you would then cease to receive the annual cost of living increases on your UK state pension. You can in either event elect to have your pension sent to your UK bank, if preferred.

If you ask for your pension to be sent to a bank in Thailand that would likely suggest to the authorities that you are resident in Thailand.

The criteria to determine UK residency are in the process of being revised and the new criteria will take effect from April 2013. They take into account such things as whether you have a home available to you in the UK and how long you spend there each year. Note six months is significant.

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arjay
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UK State Pension, When in Thailand

Post by arjay » October 30, 2012, 4:15 pm

These related links may also be of interest:

http://www.udonmap.com/udonthaniforum/m ... %20pension

(Note 4 pages to that one).

http://www.udonmap.com/udonthaniforum/p ... on#p308835

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Chriss
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UK State Pension, When in Thailand

Post by Chriss » October 30, 2012, 6:14 pm

I asked the same question of the pensions office in the UK and was told if I retain a UK address and have my pension paid into a UK bank account there is no problem where in the World you are.

tonika
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UK State Pension, When in Thailand

Post by tonika » October 30, 2012, 9:11 pm

Thanks arjay, Chriss

I will certainly give it a try. Will post the result, once I get an answer.

thanks again

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BobHelm
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UK State Pension, When in Thailand

Post by BobHelm » October 30, 2012, 9:39 pm

It is important to note what RJ says above about the Government currently revising regulations concerning pensions & all other benefits.
It is also important to realise that, whatever words they may use, the Governments' stated aim in the last General Election was to reduce Government expenditure.
The wording that the Government originally submitted for persons claiming the Government Pension are currently under review. However anyone spending a significant time outside the European Union (& some other countries who have an agreement with the UK Government concerning pensions) would only be able to claim the incremental pension by telling a deliberate lie.
While the planned words may indeed be changed by pleas from the Conservative Governments' Liberal partners, personally I do not hold out much hope. I think that there will be far bigger fish for the Liberals to fry concerning people who are primary resident in the UK to worry about pensioner ex-pats in Thailand.

Successive UK Governments of every hue have made it perfectly clear that they have no intention of index linking pensions for ex-pats. I can see no logical reason why a Government with a committed aim of reducing expenditure would even consider reversing that course.

In the past it was possible to continue to receive pension increases just by being 'forgetful' (i.e. just not mentioning changing circumstances) I am firmly convinced, by what the Government have suggested so far, that it will only be possible after April 2013 by deliberately lying, with all the dangers that course of action leaves an individual open to.

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UK State Pension, When in Thailand

Post by Bonanza » October 31, 2012, 3:55 am

When reviewing your state pension options (in terms of UK residency) is is most important to take into account all UK sourced income (you mentionned a house being rented out). You have to balance whether by being 'non resident' any gain in reduced UK tax is greater than any loss in pension increases. It all depends upon how much income you have originating in the UK.

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UK State Pension, When in Thailand

Post by davecryan » October 31, 2012, 9:41 am

Chriss wrote:I asked the same question of the pensions office in the UK and was told if I retain a UK address and have my pension paid into a UK bank account there is no problem where in the World you are.
I dont know who you were talking to..possibly a Filipino cleaner... :D
Load of nonsense..in 2009 I applied for the OAP Spouse Allowance...which I was awarded ( 54 gbp per week) as a result, in 2010 my State pension was frozen, backdated to July 2006.....90 days after my 65th Birthday.
In 2011 I was asked for the 'overpaid' increases, from July 2006 to mid 2010, a total of 1870 gbp, which was deducted at 200gbp per month. Originally I was told it would be ' about a fiver a week '..must have been that 'cleaner' again.
So far I am down about 14gbp per month BUT the extra payment of 54gbp means that I am still 40 gbp in front \:D/ \:D/ '
Entry to the Spouse Allowance was closed in April 2010 and ceases completely in 2020

In my opinion AND experience Bob Helm has it spot on....you could lie BUT if you are caught you pay the price.
By the way I only sold my house in Feb 2012 and was paying Council Tax, Sky TV etc until mid 2008.

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rick
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UK State Pension, When in Thailand

Post by rick » October 31, 2012, 12:46 pm

It will depend on whatever wording finally is adopted, but currently part of the decision depends on if your visits to the UK 'are part of a regular pattern and prove a continuing association with the UK' or words to that effect. Going back for 1 month would probably not be sufficient, but looking at Tax residence issues, 3 months MAY be. Obviously you would need to be resident for tax purposes at least. If you have private/company pensions arising in the UK you will normally be taxed on all income arising in the UK (and probably considered resident for tax purposes).

what will happen when the new £150 state pension starts also could be an issue -will it only apply to residents?

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UK State Pension, When in Thailand

Post by davecryan » October 31, 2012, 4:00 pm

One thing that I forgot in my last post, was when I queried their action, they said that all issues re; visits back and duration, house ownership, etc., were irrelevant to them and the criteria that they used was COHABITATION...... not marriage, I had had a Village Wedding but decided to legalise it, to qualify for the Spouse Benefit only two months before the deadline.
Cohabitation is not mentioned. as a 'qualifier for pension freeze ' and I bet there are other elemnts. that we dont know about. I only heard about the Spouse Benefit by word of mouth, it is there but well hidden.
Still pay Tax on all pensions and In vestments over 10,500 app.


http://www.guardian.co.uk › Money › State pensions - Cached


Check out the 100 plus Countries where UK Pensions are frozen !!!!

Most of you guys are not of pensionable age and are naively, relying on misinformation from the Govt....it is a ' different world now, without hohour for previous pledges...I am 72 and have been through it :shock:

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Chriss
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UK State Pension, When in Thailand

Post by Chriss » October 31, 2012, 9:43 pm

If it was a Filipino cleaner he had an excellent North Eastern accent.... And I bow to your superior knowledge DaveC.
Was only relating what I was told, personally I have another 11 years before I get a look at any state pension. I was asking the questions to get a complete feel for the pension world before I decided which visa/visa extension to apply for here. I was told if I get myself a retirement visa my state pension was frozen, that's 11 years of 'possible' increases I'd lose, the pensions office told me as I wrote previously and the guy actually added "if you have a UK address and we pay into a UK bank who would know where you are anyway"...... guess by your experience in 11 years time I won't be claiming for spouse allowance for a Thai wife living in Thailand.......

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rick
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UK State Pension, When in Thailand

Post by rick » October 31, 2012, 11:56 pm

Chris, the state pension only becomes frozen after you qualify for it, not from when you went abroad. So not a problem until you are 65 (or 66,67 whatever state retirement age is when you qualify).

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Chriss
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UK State Pension, When in Thailand

Post by Chriss » November 1, 2012, 7:11 am

Rick,
The pension office told me if I claim I'm residing overseas now my pension will be frozen at today's rate.. The guy I spoke with was the one who said, "but if I retain a UK address and bank account it will continue as per normal.
My question that I can't get an answer for is, how do the pensions people know I'm residing overseas if my pension is paid into a UK bank and I retain a UK address.
It was mentioned above about lying to the govmt, I don't see how it's lying unless there's somewhere on a form that specifically asks how long I'm in or more importantly out of the country. Any ideas?

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UK State Pension, When in Thailand

Post by jackspratt » November 1, 2012, 7:48 am

Chriss wrote: My question that I can't get an answer for is, how do the pensions people know I'm residing overseas if my pension is paid into a UK bank and I retain a UK address.
If the UK government has a similar system to Australia, the Immigration Dept computer talks to the Centrelink (ie Pensions Dept) computer, and both talk with the Tax Dept computer. Even though I understand the UK doesn't have departure checks at airports, all your relevant information is contained in the Advanced Passenger Information (API) which you must give when you purchase a ticket.

So they all know exactly when someone leaves the country, and when they come back.

ps I am not sure how it works for ferry and Chunnel Train passengers.

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BobHelm
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UK State Pension, When in Thailand

Post by BobHelm » November 1, 2012, 8:24 am

I have certainly never heard of the pension being 'frozen' at the rate when you left the UK.
The pension that you are entitled to receive is dependent on the number of years that you have paid National Insurance Contribution up to a limit of XX years. That XX number of years was significantly reduced by the last Government down to 30 years.
So at the time that you claim your pension you will get
(The number of years NI that you contributed (Max 30) multiplied by The Pension Amount) divided by 30

If you have been outside the country all your working life but have paid 30 years worth of NI you will get the full pension.
The pension can only be reduced by under contribution.

The wording that the Government have so far suggested only asks questions about your whereabouts during the 2 years immediately prior to your retirement. That is to try and establish where you are normally resident.
Apart from the whole of the European Union (an ever expanding number of countries) there are a number of additional countries where the UK have reciprocal pension arrangements. If you live in any of those countries you will continue to get pension increases.
So it is not just about establishing that you are abroad, but exactly where,
From the new wording it was apparent the claim was all about where the individual spent his time & not about what assets you had where. That information does not figure in the questioning.

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Chriss
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Post by Chriss » November 1, 2012, 8:55 am

Thanks for the response Bob, I do indeed have my 30 years paid in full, I was a few years short (working overseas) and paid the difference in a lump sum.
Think I'll call the pensions office again to get an updated version from them.
Initially I was told when you apply for the proof of pension letter from the British Embassy the info gets filtered through to the pension bods in the UK, but a week or so back the Embassy told me they have no contact what so ever with other govmt depts in the UK.

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BobHelm
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Post by BobHelm » November 1, 2012, 9:05 am

Chriss contacting the Authorities is certainly the only way that you will get a definitive answer based on your set of personal circumstances.
It could be worth your while looking at this site though & maybe calm (or otherwise :yikes: ) any fears that you might have before you contact them.
https://www.gov.uk/browse/working/state-pension

I think, in either case, you may get a different answer if you ask today & after the Government have decided & passed legislation that, I believe, would come into effect from April 2013 on..

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Post by trubrit » November 1, 2012, 9:15 am

Chriss wrote:Rick,
The pension office told me if I claim I'm residing overseas now my pension will be frozen at today's rate.. The guy I spoke with was the one who said, "but if I retain a UK address and bank account it will continue as per normal.
My question that I can't get an answer for is, how do the pensions people know I'm residing overseas if my pension is paid into a UK bank and I retain a UK address.
It was mentioned above about lying to the govmt, I don't see how it's lying unless there's somewhere on a form that specifically asks how long I'm in or more importantly out of the country. Any ideas?
Very simple answer to that in my case .I didn't appear on the census count so they obviously must have checked further and found I wasn't registered to pay poll tax, as it was then called, on a residential property anywhere in the UK.They clawed back two years increases and two years Xmas bonus by reducing my pension . :-"
Ageing is a privilige denied to many .

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Post by trubrit » November 1, 2012, 9:39 am

I forgot to add the check was initiated by my own bank verifying my address . :-"
Ageing is a privilige denied to many .

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BobHelm
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Post by BobHelm » November 1, 2012, 9:52 am

Any Pension changes are likely to be part of the Finance Bill 2013.
It has been called the most major overhaul of the Benefits System since its' introduction.
The passage of that bill is as follows..
Finance Bill 2013 - Draft Clauses - 11 December 2012
The draft clauses will be published on 11 December and will be open for consultation until 6 February 2013.
Then legislation will be introduced through Parliament.

Initial 'thoughts' on what the Government wants have been mooted over a number of months, in all probability to 'test the waters' to these ideas. That is where I picked up this concept of new pensioners having to confirm, in writing, where their primary abode is & in a way that left no doubt as to its meaning,

My fears about the legislation are two fold.
Firstly that the Government have made no bones about their main aim is to cut Government expenditure.
Secondly this is liable to be controversial & wide ranging legislation concerning all areas of Social Welfare. I think that ex-Patriot Pensioners are a group that have little political pressure that they can bring to bear. The opponents to the legislation are far more likely to have other sectors of the Welfare Scheme that they want to protect before us. I think that we will be left with whatever the Government suggests in its' original draft as the arguments & battles will be fought elsewhere..

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