Expat's Manual

The UK has social security agreements in place with a number of different countries. At present these are as follows:

  • Barbados
  • Bermuda
  • Israel (the agreement with Israel applies to the territory administered by the Government of Israel on 19 July 1956)
  • Jamaica
  • Jersey and Guernsey
  • Isle of Man
  • Mauritius
  • Philippines
  • Turkey
  • USA and the separate republics of the former Yugoslavia that are not EU Member States (Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, Montenegro, the Republic of Macedonia and Serbia).

If you live and work in one of these countries you may be entitled to social security access. However, it is important to bear in mind that the rules in each of these separate agreements do vary and, while the main rules are detailed below, you should always consult the HMRC residency to determine how they apply to your situation.


Working in a country that has a reciprocal agreement or double contribution convention

If you work in a country that has an agreement in place with the UK then the general rule is that you pay social security contributions in the country within which you are living and working. In the majority of cases you will not need to pay any National Insurance contributions in the UK but will continue to be eligible for your pension when you retire.

People who are posted overseas on a temporary basis may still be required to pay National Insurance contributions in the UK if they meet the following criteria:

  • The individual continues to be employed in the UK; and
  • The individual is posted to a RA or DCC country; and
  • The length of the posting period does not exceed the maximum posting period of the agreement. See the HM Revenue and Customs website for more details.

In situations where an individual is posted overseas and will continue to pay National Insurance contributions the employer needs to obtain a certificate of continuing liability from HMRC Residency (Newcastle) to prevent a demand for payment of contributions in the other country.


State pensions

If you are living overseas you will still be entitled to your state pension. However, whether or not you are entitled to annual increases in state pension rates will depend upon where in the world you are living. If you live in an EEA country or any of the countries listed in the reciprocal agreement listed above, you will be entitled to the increases. If you live outside of these countries however, you will not.

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