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I have lived in the USA since 2005 and am in my mid 40's. I am a permanent resident of the USA, not a citizen.

While in the UK I did not contribute sufficient to NI, and so would get letters from time to time advising me to top-up.

I don't really know whether I will be living in the USA or the UK (or even somewhere else) come retirement age. I nearly have enough credits to qualify for social security in the USA.

Should I top up my NI contributions?

  • What's NI? Pardon my ignorance. – acpilot Dec 31 '16 at 23:23
  • "National Insurance", similar to social security in the US. – mkennedy Jan 1 '17 at 4:02
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I don't think anyone can answer this definitively - there are too many unknowns.

  1. (Unknown to us but known to you) How much contribution is needed now to top up your NI to a reasonable place? How much of an impact would that have on your current budgeting / lifestyle?
  2. (Unknown to everyone) How much pension will a full NI credit get you by the time you retire?
  3. (Unknown to us, maybe partially known to you) What other retirement income will you have - private pensions, investments etc.?
  4. (Unknown to us, maybe partially known to you) How likely is it that you will be living in the UK by the time you retire?

You would have to balance up your best educated guesses at the answers to these four questions to come with a conclusion.

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