Worked at least 3 years in the UK? You might be entitled to a UK State Pension

If you are an Irish resident who has worked in the UK for at least three years but less than the 10 years required to qualify for a full UK State Pension, you may still be eligible to buy years for a UK State Pension.

The process of buying a UK State Pension years back involves making voluntary contributions, which can help to fill gaps in your National Insurance record. This can be particularly beneficial if you have moved to Ireland and are no longer making National Insurance contributions in the UK, as it can ensure that you receive the full amount of the UK State Pension to which you are entitled.

The amount you can receive from the UK State Pension will depend on your National Insurance record. For example, if you have contributed for 35 years, you can receive the full amount of the new UK State Pension, which is currently £179.60 per week. If you have contributed for less than 35 years, your pension entitlement will be reduced on a pro-rata basis.

The UK state pension services will allow you buy back years by making voluntary contributions. You can start the enquiry process here… Or you can jump straight into the app process here Social Security abroad: NI38 – GOV.UK (

Typically you can go back over the last 6 years and buy them back. This will stay the same. However there is a window of opportunity for most people who have the min 3 years to buy back years they missed between 2006-2016. This option was due to expire in April 2023, but due to a backlog of applications the time limit has been put back to July 31st, 2023

How much a year costs depends on whether you are considered “class 2” or “class 3” Class 2 costs €163.80 per year you buy Class 3 costs €824.20 per year. Broadly speaking, Class 2 is for those living and working outside the UK now. Class 3 is for those living and NOT working outside the UK, but there may be some other conditions to determine which class you might fall in to.

Each year you buy gets you an extra £275 a year (provided you get to the min 10 yrs) This means you need to live for roughly 3 years after retirement for class 3 to be worthwhile…. Or…just 7 Months for class 2.

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