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News Forum - UK Pensions in Thailand losing up to 20,160 baht a year


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13 minutes ago, Marble-eye said:

That is a fair comment and undeniably true, however what is not taken into account is the monies saved by expats not using facilities like the NHS etc, the money saved there must far outweigh the pittance the governments saves by not increasing our pensions which in itself is the lowest in Europe. We don't get free prescriptions and free bus passes, the savings for the government must be huge. 

If you live in the US, you get it, in Canada not, there is no rhyme nor reason as to why we are not being given an increase each year, the government seems to" find money for other countries and even for people who have never paid a penny into the kitty, but we don't vote, so we don't matter. 

now all expats can vote and there is no longer a 15 year limit.  What we need now is  '"constituencies"  dedicated to the over 5.5 million  uk expats of which over a million are pensioners so that  their interests can be  represented by  MPs. rather than just being able to vote in the UK constituency they perhaps lived in 20 years ago to which they now possibly have no links.

 

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I often read (daily I mean) utterly baffling and illogical policies and statements by the Thai government. This is in stark contrast to what I hear coming out of countries like the U.K.  Although I often disagree with what The U.K. governments says, does and doesn’t do, I can at least see the logic and follow their reasoning, while not always liking or agreeing. On this topic, the statements and policy of the U.K. government could have come straight out of Government House in Bangkok. Utterly baffling, illogical, discriminatory and down right unfair. 
 

My understanding is such cases have even gone to court and the U.K. government has won the case. Somewhere, there must be a document which explains how certain countries (Argentina I believe is even one) get the increase. While many others; including  those where the Queen is the official Head of State, don’t!!  It is Gobsmackingly  illogical.    

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6 hours ago, BigHewer said:

Exactly. It would be interesting to know which other countries are lumped in with Thailand.

This is from the U.K. Government Website. The last paragraph makes a mockery of the reasoning that it’s linked to Social Security Agreements 😂😂

 

Countries the UK has a social security agreement with

The UK has agreements with some other countries to protect the social security rights of workers moving between the 2 countries.

These are sometimes known as ‘bilateral agreements’ or ‘reciprocal agreements’.

If you live in one of the following countries and receive a UK State Pension, you will usually get an increase in your pension every year:

  • Barbados
  • Bermuda
  • Bosnia-Herzegovina
  • Gibraltar
  • Guernsey
  • the Isle of Man
  • Israel
  • Jamaica
  • Jersey
  • Kosovo
  • Mauritius
  • Montenegro
  • North Macedonia
  • the Philippines
  • Serbia
  • Turkey
  • USA

The UK has social security agreements with Canada and New Zealand, but you cannot get a yearly increase in your UK State Pension if you live in either of those countries.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/state-pensions-annual-increases-if-you-live-abroad/countries-where-we-pay-an-annual-increase-in-the-state-pension

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I declared non resident status in the UK when I left 11 years ago.

I got my state pension on my 66th birthday last year and I was aware it won't increase, but fortunately my other 2 private pensions will.

What annoys me more is I have had to pay tax every year since on my UK Income and will do so until I die.

Robbery on both counts!

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Successfully Registered to receive my UK State Pension recently with first payment 1 July. Are new pensions being paid on time now ? Read horror stories of people nine months overdue for first payment ?

Used same UK Address in play for UK Residence / Mail/ Document purposes;  with my Thai phone number which legally not linked to country of residence ?

My thinking was if they DID call me I would be available to answer any residence or other questions. I would just say I’m in Thailand due to Covid and that I’m still UK Resident. 
 

With this UK Address I would expect to receive any index increases. Having not contributed for 32 years it’s amazing I still qualify for 50% max. pension.

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54 minutes ago, BigHewer said:

Only 2 (two!) British retirees in Mongolia 😂. I wonder if they know each other

They probably dont like each other 😆

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5 hours ago, Soidog said:

This is a big topic and worthy of its own thread I think.
 

I’m not sure of the 181 day limit as I frequently was out of the country for longer on business and leisure over the years and never lost any entitlement to the NHS, or voting rights. I was never asked if I spent such time out of the country, so how would they ever know? Equally, I know many people in Thailand who have used family addresses for more than 20 years and have annual pension increases. While I don’t think the U.K. government will change the rules, I’m sure they spend little to no time chasing pensioners who don’t declare being out of the country for more than 181 days. 

As for the NHS I’m afraid I have to totally disagree with your statement about it being a basket case. The issue is the demand and waiting list for the service. Once you are in the system then it is world class service.
 

The NHS needs to redefine itself and focus on essential treatments. Less “wellness” bollocks and issues such as Gender reassignment and supply of gluten free products to people who can afford to buy their own. A limit on body BMI unless clearly linked to illness should also be a qualifying factor in my book! All of that would save money and time and allow more essential services to be performed. I saw an article the other day of a woman who had taken her kid to A&E because she couldn’t remove a sticking plaster as the kid was crying. Charge idiots like that and save more money and time. As you may guess, I have strong feelings and opinions about what I consider to be a wonderful service we Brits should be rightly proud of ☺️☺️

I agree with all you say.

The increase in pensions due to the annual rise is about £182 a year or somewhere around that mark, each of the millions of individual pensioners would have to be checked and if suspected would have to be investigated as in the UK people are still innocent until proven guilty so it is not worth the government spending billions doing that as there would be negative returns. 

I have worked outside of the UK for periods of longer than a year over the last thirty years, no one has ever checked anything.

Three and half years ago I was quite ill and I thanked god for the NHS, I had lots of treatment by various specialist doctors over a period of six months, all free at the point of use.

A lot of people have become spoilt by the NHS and misuse it as you say, but it is the best 'free' service in the world.

Oh and every time I see a doctor or go to the hospital they do not ask me the question, "have you been abroad for over 181 days in the last financial year?"

 

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3 minutes ago, JamesR said:

Oh and every time I see a doctor or go to the hospital they do not ask me the question, "have you been abroad for over 181 days in the last financial year?"

That don’t even ask you if you are British and so they certainly won’t ask if you have been away for extended periods. 
 

My advice to U.K. citizens who move to Thailand is to maintain some form of address in the U.K. It then becomes your own choice if you wish to inform the authorities or simply take the pension annual increases. In the event of a major health scare, you can be back inside of 24 hours for around £400 (17,000 baht) one way. 

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4 hours ago, oldschooler said:

Successfully Registered to receive my UK State Pension recently with first payment 1 July. Are new pensions being paid on time now ? Read horror stories of people nine months overdue for first payment ?

Used same UK Address in play for UK Residence / Mail/ Document purposes;  with my Thai phone number which legally not linked to country of residence ?

My thinking was if they DID call me I would be available to answer any residence or other questions. I would just say I’m in Thailand due to Covid and that I’m still UK Resident. 
 

With this UK Address I would expect to receive any index increases. Having not contributed for 32 years it’s amazing I still qualify for 50% max. pension.

I will let you know on the 17th of this month as I will receive my first payment.

When I applied online they phoned me to check a few things as they said they do it at random.

I said the address I had given them was my sisters address as I sold my house and I am living there until I buy again, they said it is not a problem as they just need the address of where I am now and did not bother asking me to update them when I move.

The money will be paid directly into my bank account.

I think I only contributed for 28 years as I was working abroad some years but I will get just a few quid a week less than the maximum, it is based on how many years you contributed.

Plus if you pay them voluntary contributes allowed for the last six unpaid years it is worth doing as you will get the money back in extra payments over the next three years and then continue to get the extra pension for life.

As you said you are successfully registered then that is that, I think they will not phone you, they phoned me as I said above just a week after filling out the forms online. 

 

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9 minutes ago, Soidog said:

That don’t even ask you if you are British and so they certainly won’t ask if you have been away for extended periods. 
 

My advice to U.K. citizens who move to Thailand is to maintain some form of address in the U.K. It then becomes your own choice if you wish to inform the authorities or simply take the pension annual increases. In the event of a major health scare, you can be back inside of 24 hours for around £400 (17,000 baht) one way. 

That is my plan.

Keep my wealth and property in the UK, keep the passport and debit card near just in case.

But in any event when we get 'old old' we will have to go back anyway as we would not be able to afford any long term care or medical support in Thailand and so would need the NHS.

But until then, let's have a good time. 😃

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4 hours ago, Saltire said:

I declared non resident status in the UK when I left 11 years ago.

I got my state pension on my 66th birthday last year and I was aware it won't increase, but fortunately my other 2 private pensions will.

What annoys me more is I have had to pay tax every year since on my UK Income and will do so until I die.

Robbery on both counts!

I suggest you sell all of your assets etc in the UK, bring the money over to Thailand, find a nice twenty year old Thai woman who will says she loves you after a week, buy her a house and car and that will solve all of your tax problems in the UK. 😆

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23 minutes ago, JamesR said:

I suggest you sell all of your assets etc in the UK, bring the money over to Thailand, find a nice twenty year old Thai woman who will says she loves you after a week, buy her a house and car and that will solve all of your tax problems in the UK. 😆

You did that and complain about Sin Sod, hmmmmmm, how strange......🥴

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There are 55,000 UK Expats living in Thailand?

Where did you come up with this number?

Just curious.

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49 minutes ago, Transam said:

You did that and complain about Sin Sod, hmmmmmm, how strange......🥴

I only did that in my parallel alternative life, see my comments above re my real life. 

No sense of humour?

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2 minutes ago, JamesR said:

I only did that in my parallel alternative life, see my comments above re my real life. 

No sense of humour?

Well, I look forward to your culture objections to passing the envelopes round at funerals....😆

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The point that successive UK governments seem to ignore is that regardless of where a citizen chooses to retire they have paid in the same over their working life via NI contributions. This is the basis for the calculation of % entitlement of the full state pension upon retirement, yet because of this dubious ruling you cannot receive your full dues in real terms if you retire to certain countries abroad. It's inequitable!

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1 hour ago, Transam said:

Well, I look forward to your culture objections to passing the envelopes round at funerals....😆

You mean the objections you have invented for me for whatever reason that might be Mr James Tailor ?😀

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2 hours ago, CakieB said:

The point that successive UK governments seem to ignore is that regardless of where a citizen chooses to retire they have paid in the same over their working life via NI contributions. This is the basis for the calculation of % entitlement of the full state pension upon retirement, yet because of this dubious ruling you cannot receive your full dues in real terms if you retire to certain countries abroad. It's inequitable!

Plus while we are living in another country we are not using the NHS or other resources saving the government money, we are freeing up housing etc.

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20 hours ago, Benroon said:

I've looked at this so hard over the years and I cannot think of a single benefit of maintaining links to the UK if you have decided Thailand is your home. Tax wise it makes absolutely no sense, then any UK property ownership will leave you with a significant CGT bill should you ever sell (it's incredible how many people I've met who aren't aware of this), and any pension (private) income that you get will be paid GROSS IF you declare yourself a non resident of the UK. (the onus is on you then to pay tax in Thailand but there doesn't appear to be an easy mechanism to do this so it just gets uncollected)

There is no CGT to pay if it was your main residence.
https://www.gov.uk/tax-sell-home#:~:text=You do not pay Capital,time you've owned it

 

Non-residents only pay tax on their UK income - they do not pay UK tax on their foreign income.

Residents normally pay UK tax on all their income, whether it’s from the UK or abroad. But there are special rules for UK residents whose permanent home (‘domicile’) is abroad.
https://www.gov.uk/tax-foreign-income/residence#:~:text=Non-residents only pay tax,'domicile') is abroad.

 

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24 minutes ago, Faz said:

There is no CGT to pay if it was your main residence.
https://www.gov.uk/tax-sell-home#:~:text=You do not pay Capital,time you've owned it

Non-residents only pay tax on their UK income - they do not pay UK tax on their foreign income.

Residents normally pay UK tax on all their income, whether it’s from the UK or abroad. But there are special rules for UK residents whose permanent home (‘domicile’) is abroad.
https://www.gov.uk/tax-foreign-income/residence#:~:text=Non-residents only pay tax,'domicile') is abroad.

I would assume that if a person had a property in the UK then it would have to be rented out as it would soon deteriorate if left unattended for years.

Therefore there will be CGT tax to pay on the house value gained from when the house was first rented out until it was sold.

But the best thing to do would to live in it for a while before selling it and then no one would notice when it was sold.

 

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On 5/14/2022 at 6:16 AM, stuhan said:

How do you work out  losing £4,800 a year 

I make it 488 a year not 4,800. 

Yeah, that figure should obviously have been £480 a year and that gap widens each year as pensions increase if yours is frozen. 

Prior to April 2016, receiving the full state pension was based on 30 years NI contributions.
From April 2016 when the new state pension was introduced, the number of qualifying years changed to 35.
https://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/pensions/article-5727623/Why-wont-state-pension-paid-38-years.html

Under the old state pension scheme, any contracted out years had no effect on your basic pension.
Under the new state pension scheme (Apr 2016) another change was a reduction in state pension for each year contracted out. Basically giving in one hand and taking back with the other.

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17 hours ago, JamesR said:

I suggest you sell all of your assets etc in the UK, bring the money over to Thailand, find a nice twenty year old Thai woman who will says she loves you after a week, buy her a house and car and that will solve all of your tax problems in the UK. 😆

Good idea, I already checked a few of those boxes but none of that will stop them taxing my pensions ☹️.

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22 hours ago, BigHewer said:

Some interesting stats here. Australia #1 (not indexed); Spain #2 (indexed). Thailand has 41,000 according to this list.

Of all the Countries where there is no 'social security' agreement with the UK, perhaps the most surprising is Australia. UK pensions are also frozen here.
Whilst the UK may freeze pensions when living overseas in certain Countries, spare a though for the Australians, who aren't even entitled to claim the state pension if living in Thailand at the time of reaching state pension age. They have to return to Australia for 2 years of residency in order to claim.

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6 hours ago, Faz said:

Yeah, that figure should obviously have been £480 a year and that gap widens each year as pensions increase if yours is frozen. 

Prior to April 2016, receiving the full state pension was based on 30 years NI contributions.
From April 2016 when the new state pension was introduced, the number of qualifying years changed to 35.
https://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/pensions/article-5727623/Why-wont-state-pension-paid-38-years.html

Under the old state pension scheme, any contracted out years had no effect on your basic pension.
Under the new state pension scheme (Apr 2016) another change was a reduction in state pension for each year contracted out. Basically giving in one hand and taking back with the other.

Even £480 a year is too high, for example last year the pensions was £179.60 a week, it went up by 3.1% to £185.15 a rise of £288.6 a year so for people to lose out significantly they woulds have to be out of the country for around twenty years, most people do not live past twenty years when retiring at 66 as in the UK.

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