I have just come back to UK for a week half term break. While I have been here I have been sorting some admin type things. Some interesting things I have learned: National Insurance/State Pension Although I can pay back the last 5 years NI contributions which I missed when I was in UAE, this will make no difference to the amount of state pension I will receive at 66 years old (6 years time). I think that this might be a change from a previous situation. (I did pay Class 2, but, when I reached 30 years contributions, it automatically stop taking it from my UK account - then they changed the rules to 35 years) The contributions I am paying now, since April 2016 (from overseas, Class 2) will make a difference to/increase my state pension, so well worth paying. In April 2018, the option of paying Class 2 will no longer apply and you will have to pay Class 3 Teachers pension: You can commute (I think that is the term) some of your monthly pension amount into a larger lump sum. You cannot do the reverse (ie forego some/all of your lump sum to increase your yearly pension. If you leave claiming your teachers pension until after the due date, this makes no difference to the amount ie it will not increase and you will not get paid back any payments you missed. You can claim your pension early (at a reduction of 2% for each month you claim it early). If you claim it early, this means there are no restrictions on any earnings you might make after your retirement date. If you plan on contining work, as I do, this is well worth doing/knowing If you claim it on your due retirement date (or after) and then go on to continue working/earning, this may have an impact on your monthly pension payments (I am currently in the process of trying to find the specifics) This April I will officially be a 'pensioner' HA!!