I am a 39 year old British citizen. For the next year, possibly longer, I will be living and working in Thailand. I have a working visa, will be working for a Thai company and will be paying local tax, so I will not be UK tax resident during this time. I do have a property I rent out, so will continue to pay tax on that. I am trying to determine if I should/can continue paying National Insurance contributions to protect my state pension.
According the HMRC my National Insurance contributions are as follows
- 13 years of full contributions
- 28 years to contribute before 5 April 2048
- 11 years when you did not contribute enough (4 years higher education, 7 years working abroad)
I will speak to HMRC this week to find out my obligations. However, if I am not obligated, would I be better off to continue NI contributions or to put the money into something like a Vanguard Personal Pension (SIPP)? There will be no contributions from my employer during my time away, so I want to put my money where it will yield the best returns.
Apologies if this is an obvious question, I've spent much of my life as staff rather than self-employed and have paid very little attention to tax and pension. I'm a bit late to the game at this point, but trying to get my house in order as best as I can. Any advice or suggested reading from the more finance savvy would be really appreciated.