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Posted Sun, 26 Mar 2023 16:28:28 GMT by DFisher
I'm trying to take advantage of the exceptional opportunity to fill some of the gaps in my NI contributions to bump up my future state pension. I lived and worked in the UK until 30-ish and have now been living and working in the EU for 25-odd years. After several hours of research I have the following questions / comments. I'm still working (abroad). Does this mean I can't top up? Am I ineligible for Class 3? If so, am I eligible for Class 2 even though I'm not self-employed? Does this affect the payment amounts that are displayed in my online "Pension Forcast / NI Record" (the "Rates" seem to be very different)? In several places it is said that filling the gaps won't necessarily increase the state pension (and therefore we should contact the Future Pension Centre) but it would be nice to have some general idea of the cases. I imagine, with my 25 year gap, that filling 15 of them would increase mine. It would be nice to be able to get the 18 digit number online. I've never had one and I can see it's going to be a long wait on the phone. Is the dead-line for the exceptional 15 year top up really July 31st? Just looking for reassurance ... if its April 5th it's going to be pretty tight (especially if the phone lines are all clogged). Thanks to anyone who can help me with these queries.
Posted Sun, 26 Mar 2023 17:14:53 GMT by Ross H
Forget phoning, do it through the Digital Assistant as suggested by RealityCheck. I succeeded that way.
Posted Mon, 27 Mar 2023 14:08:45 GMT by Midnight-Blue Abbott
RealityCheck thank you sooo much re the online chat to an advisor. Got another 18 reference number as although the 2nd to 7th digits changed for the new amount the last digit changed also from a zero to a 1 So YES you do need a new 18 digit reference number to anyone needing to know!
Posted Wed, 29 Mar 2023 15:02:52 GMT by mrshabs
Digital Assistant as suggested by RealityCheck has now been removed. Our advisers are not available to discuss your query at the moment. You can ask another question, contact HMRC for more help (opens in a new tab) or end this chat. So I've phoned and 50 minutes in no reply. This would be so much easier with an online form.
Posted Thu, 30 Mar 2023 11:18:05 GMT by Geoffrey Peter prunty
as above.. referred me to 0300 200 3500 nums.. still waiting 60 mins on hold.... all I want is the 18 dig ref numb so i can make online payment. I don't have cheque book to send with my NI Number (who does). good job its been extended till 31st july.. I might get through by then... :-)
Posted Thu, 30 Mar 2023 13:35:40 GMT by Geoffrey Peter prunty
yay.. finally got through... very helpful. He put me through to another NI advisor on another number who gave me the advice I Wanted to hear and said I could get the 18 digit number when or how many years I want to pay .(makes sense). I can decide and pay before the 31st july.
Posted Fri, 31 Mar 2023 10:39:29 GMT by HMRC Admin 20
Hi DFisher,

As you are living and working in an EU member state you will need to complete the CF83 to enquire about paying voluntary contributions.  
If you tick the option to pay arrears a letter will be issued advising which years you can pay, and how much they will cost.  
If you read the NI38, this will advise whether class 2 would be an option for you.  
Once you have read and understood the NI38 you can advise on the CF83 whether you are interested in paying class 2 or class 3.

The deadline has been extended to 31st of July, and we will accept the date your CF83 is received.  
The 18 digit reference number is not used in payments from overseas.

Thank you.
Posted Sat, 01 Apr 2023 01:20:26 GMT by Viv472
I share the general frustration on an already very complicated topic. Why can’t this just be on the Government Gateway ? I’ve held on to the phone for 2 hours a day for a week and given up. Separate question : does anyone know how much the contribution has to be if I am living abroad ? I was told by someone that it needs to be Class 2, self employed, would anyone know if that is correct ? Thanks
Posted Sat, 01 Apr 2023 17:46:08 GMT by IslandGirl
For UK citizens who live abroad and want to make a one-time lump sum payment before 31st July for several PAST tax years when National Insurance was not paid, do they need the CF83 form? I have studied this form and many of the sections are not applicable. It appears to be for people abroad who want to set up a direct debit for FUTURE National Insurance payments, but please clarify. Also can my brother in the UK make the lump sum payment on my behalf? I already have my details from DWP, and he will send a cover letter with his cheque. I look forward to your reply. Thank you.
Posted Mon, 03 Apr 2023 08:26:54 GMT by Colin Rankin
I too have spoken with the Future Pensions Office and know which years and amounts I need to pay (going back to 2016/17) to maximise my state pension. They told me to call HMRC on 0300 200 3500 to get a reference for the back payment. I have tried daily for a few weeks now. Each time I call I never get past the automated options menu no matter what I say to that infuriating system. It asks a number of security questions, says I’ll be put through to the next available agent, then says ‘thank you for your call, goodbye’ and disconnects. Extremely exasperating and frustrating. I don’t have a cheque book on my bank account. Any suggestions as to how to get past the telephone system to even get in the queue to speak to someone?
Posted Mon, 03 Apr 2023 16:10:35 GMT by John
Has the 5th April deadline been extended? As others have said, one waits for HOUIRS to get thru to HMRC, and then one is hung up on. Very keen to make a voluntary contribution, but need that 18 digit number!
Posted Mon, 03 Apr 2023 17:08:15 GMT by John
After waiting on hold for nearly two hours (had phone on speaker so could get other work done), finally go thru and the agent gave me my 18 digit number. He was super helpful. Meanwhile, here has GOT to be a better way to get this.
Posted Wed, 05 Apr 2023 07:21:36 GMT by Viv472
Finally managed through the online advisors - the chat function referenced earlier, thank you. . They were really great and helpful. Didn’t realise the reference number was a one time track of payment to let them know how to allocate the funds. There should definitely be an option for this, but in the meantime that’s a really painful admin job done without hours of holding on. Hopefully the payment will get suitably allocated in 5-10 weeks as they say !
Posted Tue, 11 Apr 2023 12:56:57 GMT by HMRC Admin 32
Hi IslandGirl,

You should complete the CF83, and select the box that asks about paying previous tax years. The payment can be made by your brother, as long as all of the information requested is supplied.

Thank you.
Posted Tue, 11 Apr 2023 17:36:24 GMT by IslandGirl
Thank you, HMRC Admin 32.
Posted Wed, 12 Apr 2023 09:49:47 GMT by Mohammad Qureshi
I can’t get on the telephone to get 18 digit reference number for Voluntary Contributions. Since it is impossible to even get in the queue to speak, it seems that 03002003500 is not operational. Please either start this number or advise an alternate way to pay. Can’t pay by check as suggested Thanks
Posted Wed, 12 Apr 2023 09:53:20 GMT by Mohammad Qureshi
Is it possible to write to HMRC to get the 18 digit reference number. If yes, what would be the right mailing address and are they likely to reply? Thanks
Posted Thu, 13 Apr 2023 07:47:58 GMT by HMRC Admin 20
Hi Viv472,

There is work ongoing to make the reference more easily available but this cannot be guaranteed in time for the 31 July when the option to pay back to 2006 ends.
For payments from abroad, customers should download CF83 from the website which details options for paying either Class 2 or Class 3 from abroad – there is also an application form within the leaflet which can be submitted to the international teams for their consideration.  
A decision on vol conts from abroad cannot be given over the telephone.

Thank you.
Posted Thu, 13 Apr 2023 11:17:35 GMT by HMRC Admin 20
Hi John,

The deadline for voluntary national insurance contributions with a payment at this rate deadline of 05/04/2023 has been extended to 31/07/2023.  
We are aware that customers are experiencing difficulties in obtaining there 18 digit reference numbers.
You can also pay by cheque you will need to provided your NI number on both the front of the cheque and the letter advising which years you are paying.
Alternatively if you have paid voluntary NICs previously and have a 18 digit ref the starts 60 then you may use that reference.  
If your reference starts with anything other than 60 please do not use that reference as your payment will not be allocated to your NI record.

Thank you.
Posted Thu, 13 Apr 2023 16:23:04 GMT by jamesmunden01 Munden
Just sorted it. Got an 18-digit number via the online advisor Chat-line as detailed earlier in this thread, after (only) 20 abortive calls to the Future Pension line. Payment made. Yeeha!!! Note to self - check in 8 weeks tme that the payment *has* been allocated to the correct years!!

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