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Claiming back my pension contributions

Discussion in 'Teaching abroad' started by sid1913, Apr 19, 2019.

  1. sid1913

    sid1913 New commenter

    I left the UK four years ago after only paying into my teaching pension for two years. Is it possible to claim it back or is it long gone?
  2. taiyah

    taiyah Occasional commenter

  3. clovispoint

    clovispoint Occasional commenter

    I do not have a definitive answer for the teacher pension but I know it is possible under some circumstances to ask for your part of the pension contribution back from occupational pension schemes. You will forfeit the employer contribution and tax breaks and lose out overall. It really would be much more sensible to leave the money where it is and receive the GBP1000+ a year it will be worth when you retire. Should you return to the UK, the pension may be able to move to a new employer.

    This might help- seems two years is a cut off.


    Helen-Back likes this.
  4. 576

    576 Established commenter

    It isn't long gone, it's lying dormant until you return to UK teaching or retire.
    It won't be worth a lot but every little counts, you'll just have a retirement income from multiple sources.
    clovispoint and Helen-Back like this.
  5. sid1913

    sid1913 New commenter

    Yes, I am starting to get very worried about my retirement. Albeit I'm only 30 but I've got no car, no house, a 2 year old with another on the way. Need to ensure I avoid 'Expatitis' and put savings away regularly.
    clovispoint likes this.
  6. taiyah

    taiyah Occasional commenter

    Well done for acknowledging the need to start thinking about your current and future financial health. You maybe only be 30 but with or without a family retirement should always be given the time of day.

    You'll find lots of people on this overseas forum diversify thier earnings across cash, property, UK or private pension and other form of investment. As the old saying goes, don't put your eggs in one basket.

    Remember, there's nothing wrong with chasing the $$££€€ in any industry. For which, could give you your house (depending on location) within 5 - 10 years. Good luck.
  7. sid1913

    sid1913 New commenter

    I've got a fair chunk saved for a house but finding it nigh on impossible to get a mortgage to buy property in the UK.
  8. jamieandphie

    jamieandphie New commenter

    Forgive me for jumping in to the thread...
    I am soon to move to Portugal. I cant seem to find a clear definitive guide for pensions - I think I am correct in saying that I will be now an inactive member of TPS (I have 16 years accrued). I dont think my new school has a pension scheme... so what to do? Should I / can I continue to add to my UK state pension? Is there a fixed amount to do this? What else can I do to add to my TPS pension? Anything? What is the best advice?
    I am unsure how long we would be abroad for.. possibly a couple, maybe 20!

  9. 576

    576 Established commenter

    I'd suggest reading Expat Millionaire by Andrew Hallam and then following his advice and investing.

    I follow (loosely) the 50/30/20 budget.
    Mine is actually 40/30/30.
    So 30% of my monthly wages is invested and in my head that is pension money.

    And concerning 'only being 30'. The sooner you start, the less you need to put away each month.
    clovispoint likes this.
  10. taiyah

    taiyah Occasional commenter

    Unfortunately it is a pit fall of expat finances. You have to go through a broker such as Liquid Expats. There are more fees (another £1000 than local) and the interest rate is slightly higher but the mortgage is still with a British bank. You also have to have a min 30% deposit.

    There are postings that lead to expats accelerate their financial standings and it is definitely worth the stint....
  11. sid1913

    sid1913 New commenter

    576, I've read all of Andrew's books and loved each one. I've set up my IB account and hope to whack in about 4k every 4 months. I'm unsure as to whether buying a house first is best before I put the rest of my savings in which is about 40k.
  12. sid1913

    sid1913 New commenter

    Is that, living off 40%, 30% bonds, 30% in shares?
  13. clovispoint

    clovispoint Occasional commenter

    I don't know the conditions but HSBC Expat can definitely arrange a mortgage, I know of two people I work with that have used them. Their actual mortgages are through HSBC in the UK but the Expat department handles the transition.
  14. 576

    576 Established commenter

    40% routine monthly spending, utilities, groceries, petrol etc.

    30% invested for retirement / future unemployment

    30% short term savings, for holidays, new car etc.

    This is my modified version.
    The internet has a wealth of information on the original which is basically 50% needs, 30% wants and 20% savings.
  15. taiyah

    taiyah Occasional commenter

    The needs of each person differ because there are variable in play here and they are:
    - children (or none at all)
    - spouse's ability to generate income
    - the most telling of all is your salary.

    So you will need to assess your situation and your ability to invest AND your ability to take loses as well. Most forget that investing is a gamble, it has its own high risks. Buying a house is an option but you have to do your homework. By a house that is surrounded by schools and places that meet the job market you and your wife are in, and the needs of your children.

    What you want to avoid is when your kids are of university age and you're still paying off a large chunk of the mortgage. Friends in the ME boast about them and their families flying business/first class, extravagant holidays and driving big, fancy cars... Their children are now accumulating student debts of 7-9000GBP/year.

    Those who plan well and long-term certainly are mortgage & debt free, with college/university funds for their children, good savings and possibly have another house in Spain or somewhere exotic.

    Good luck.. Again, at 30 years of age, well done for looking long-term.
  16. sid1913

    sid1913 New commenter

    Hi Taiyah,

    Thanks for your reply. I'm moving to the much-loved country of Brunei as it stands so outgoings are fairly minimal. I struggle to save 1k a month whilst in Bangkok, especially as I've just got engaged and it's becoming more and more expensive. My partner is hoping to do cover for a year and then FT the academic year after.

    I had a friend who was in Dubai on 24k Durhams a month and didn't save a penny. 'I had nice holidays and my shoes are gorgeous though,' were her words.
  17. the hippo

    the hippo Lead commenter Community helper

    The UK was a rather expensive place, the last time I went there. Perhaps there are one or two cheaper places on this planet.

    As for the idea of buying a property in the UK, I am sure that there are lots of banks, estate agents, solicitors and surveyors and they will all tell you that this is a really good idea, especially if you have to take out a huge mortgage.

    I am also sure that Andrew Hallam would say that buying his book is also a very good idea.

  18. sid1913

    sid1913 New commenter

    A very vague and mysterious reply there, Hippo...
  19. 576

    576 Established commenter

    Then why is there another thread, started by you recently, about benefits in a school in the Netherlands ?
  20. sid1913

    sid1913 New commenter

    Since accepting a job there things have changed slightly and it might not be somewhere I want to stay long term.

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