Can I claim national insurance back when I leave the UK?

National insurance contributions (NIC’s) are paid to HMRC by your employer through the pay as you earn system.

In some cases a refund of national insurance contributions can be claimed but only in certain circumstances. If you are not eligible to claim a refund of NIC’s you can transfer the NI payments you have made from the UK to a pension scheme in the country you are now living in.

National insurance refund for foreigners

Non UK nationals who have paid NIC’s and have not lived in the UK can become entitled to a refund of the national insurance payments made within the last six tax years.

Non UK nationals who have be sent to work in the UK by a foreign employer (often under a secondment or for training purposes) are usually eligible for a refund of NIC’s for the first 52 weeks of employment in the UK.

Other non UK nationals

If you have come to work in the UK (and not sent to the UK by a non UK employer) you would not normally be allowed to make a claim for a NIC’s refund. However you may be able to transfer the NI contributions you have made into a pension scheme in the country you are now residing.

UK nationals and leaving the UK NIC’s

You will not normally be entitled to a refund of NIC’s if you have left the UK but it is a good idea to consider making voluntary national insurance payments. Continuing to pay NI contributions can help you qualify for state pension and other benefits in the future.

How to claim national insurance back when leaving the UK

The way in which you claim overpaid national insurance depends on the conditions of your employment in the UK and your residency status. A claim can only be made in writing to the national insurance office and can take a number of months to process.

Leaving the UK tax refunds

You can use our free leaving the UK tax refund guide and our UK tax back calculator to work out how much your tax rebate could be worth.

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