National Insurance Contributions, Retirement Pension Forecasts and advice for those abroad

If you are going from the United Kingdom (UK) to work or live abroad or have worked or lived in the UK but now live outside the UK, HMRC Residency can provide you with the following services:


Form CA3821
The updated version is now available to download.

Form CA3822
The updated version is now available to download.


UK National Insurance Liability

We can tell you if you have to pay UK National Insurance Contributions for any period that you have worked, or will work, outside the UK as either an employee or a self-employed person.

If you do have to pay UK National Insurance Contributions for a period you have worked outside the UK:

  • in a European Economic Area country we will give you a certificate (normally a E101 or E102)
  • in a Reciprocal Agreement Country (except for New Zealand) we will give you a certificate applicable to that country

These certificates mean that you will not normally have to pay contributions to the other country's social security scheme.

Voluntary National Insurance Contributions and How to Pay from abroad

We can tell you if you can pay UK Voluntary National Insurance Contributions for a period spent outside the UK and how much you need to pay

Voluntary National Insurance Contributions are paid to protect entitlement to UK National Insurance Benefits such as state retirement pension.

There are special agreements with European Economic Area countries and Reciprocal Agreement Countries about benefits.

There are leaflets that tell you more and we would advise that you read them first before you decide whether to pay. If you do decide to pay then you should complete the application form at the back of the leaflet:

The Government has published a White Paper titled “Security in retirement: towards a new pensions system (Cm 6841)” setting out its proposals on Pension Reform. Therefore, before you make any decisions to pay voluntary Class 3 contributions you must also read the important information carefully.

Voluntary payment of contributions by workers posted abroad

Workers who are sent to work abroad by their employers in countries not covered by EC or Reciprocal Agreements have to pay Class 1 contributions for the first 52 weeks that they work abroad where certain conditions are satisfied. Once the 52 weeks have come to an end the guidance and advice that we provide indicates that these employees should pay Class 3 contributions.

Following a review of the legislation these employees can pay either Class 2 or 3 contributions currently £2.10 or £7.35 per week respectively, provided they satisfy the criteria listed below. In view of the fact that our guidance and advice indicated that only Class 3 contributions could be paid, those posted workers who have paid Class 3 contributions can apply to have the contributions converted from Class 3 to Class 2, and any balance refunded. This will apply for Class 3 contributions payable from April 2000 as Class 2 contributions were more expensive prior to this date.

In order that the contributions can be converted and the balance refunded the following conditions need to have been fulfilled:

  • The employer must have a place of business in the UK.
  • The employee must be ordinarily resident in the UK.
  • Immediately before commencement of the employment abroad the employee was resident in the UK.
  • The employee has paid Class 1 NICs for 52 weeks whilst abroad and
  • From April 2000 the employee has been paying or has paid Class 3 contributions whilst working abroad.

If these conditions are all satisfied the employee should write in and ask for conversion of Class 3 contributions paid to Class 2 and a refund of any balance and to pay Class 2 contributions for the remainder of their period of posting abroad.

The employee should give the following details:

  • Name, National Insurance Number and address both in the UK and abroad.
  • Employer details.
  • Period abroad start and finish date (if applicable).
  • A completed application form to pay Class 2 voluntary contributions (CF83) available in leaflet NI 38 Social Security Abroad, if they are still working abroad and now wish to pay Class 2 contributions.

Replies should be sent to:-

HM Revenue & Customs
HMRC Residency (Newcastle)
Newcastle Upon Tyne
NE98 1ZZ
United Kingdom.



If you are a Mariner you can find further information about your National Insurance position on our National Insurance for Mariners pages.


Retirement Pension Forecasts

We can provide Retirement Pension Forecasts for people who are outside the UK or are about to go outside the UK (if the person is not within 4 months of UK retirement pension age). This will tell you;

  • How much state Retirement Pension you can expect to get based on the UK National Insurance you have already paid;
  • If you can pay voluntary UK National Insurance Contributions to increase your State Retirement Pension;
  • How much your State Retirement Pension could be increased if you pay them.

UK residents can get a state pension forecast from the Pension Service. For further information visit the Pension Service pages.


The paperwork: what forms do I need?

All these forms are in PDF format. To view a PDF document you must have Adobe Acrobat Reader installed on your machine. If you require this material in large print or Braille please contact HMRC HMRC Residency.

You can fill in some of these forms on screen and print out the completed form. However, you cannot save a copy of the completed form to your hard disk, and the form cannot be sent online.

Whether you choose to fill in the form on screen or complete it manually, the hard copy must be signed and the form sent to us in the post.



CA3638 (PDF 393K)

National Insurance Contributions - how you can get a Retirement Pension Forecast
If you are living abroad (or intend to live abroad in the near future) and would like to receive a Retirement Pension Forecast, you should complete form CA3638 and send it to the address shown on the front of the CA3638. We will then be able to send you a Retirement Pension forecast which will tell you how much Retirement Pension you may expect to receive when you reach State Pension Age. The Forecast will also tell you if your entitlement can be improved. You will not need a Retirement Pension forecast if you are within 4 months of State Pension Age as the Department for Work and Pensions will contact you at this stage. Page 1 of form CA3638 are notes for you to tear off and keep. Pages 3-7 should be filled in and returned by post to the address on the front of the form.

You may also find leaflet NI38 - 'Social Security Abroad (PDF 340K) very useful.

CA3821 (PDF 91K)

National Insurance Contributions - for employers whose employees are going to work in a European Economic Area (EEA)/Reciprocal Agreement country
If you have not applied for certificates in the past you must also complete and return the application form CA3821, which asks for details about your company

CA3822 (PDF 83K)

National Insurance Contributions - application for a certificate of continuing UK liability, including form E101 -when employees are going to work abroad
If you are sending an employee to work temporarily in a country which is part of the European Economic Area or a country with which the UK has a Reciprocal Agreement on Social Security (see list below), an application form CA3822 must be completed for each individual employee. Each completed CA3822 should be returned to the address shown on page 5 of the CA3822. The information that you give us on the CA3822 will be used to see if the employee can continue to pay UK National Insurance contributions when working in the other country. If the employee can continue to pay UK National Insurance contributions a certificate will be issued.
Reminder: all new companies must submit the CA3821 Employers Questionnaire shown above

CA3837 (PDF 108K)

National Insurance Contributions - application for form E101 when a self-employed person goes to work in the European Economic Area (EEA).
If you are registered self-employed, are going to work in a country which is part of the European Economic Area and you wish to continue to be liable to pay UK National Insurance contributions, please complete the CA3837 application form and return it to the address shown on the front of the CA3837.
Important information for self-employed persons going to European Economic Area countries
If you can continue to pay UK National Insurance contributions a form E101 will be issued.

(PDF 144K)

Application for form E101 when an employee is employed in two or more countries of the EEA

CA8450 (PDF 85K)

Application for certificate of continuing liability for groups of performers and crew (employed persons)

CA8451 (PDF 84K)

Application for certificate of continuing liability for groups of performers and crew (self- employed persons)

CA8454 (PDF 186K)

Application for certificate E106 or E109

You can request other leaflets not available for download by filing in a simple form below.


If you are abroad and need help with an enquiry about the payment of benefits, you should contact:

Department for Work and Pensions
Pensions Service
Tyneview Park,
Whitley Road,
Newcastle upon Tyne.
NE98 1BA.
United Kingdom

Further information is available from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP, formerly DSS) website.

If you are going to live or you are living in another European Union (EU) country (see list below) after employment in the UK and you make a claim to benefit under that country's scheme, under certain circumstances your UK National Insurance contributions may help your claim.

If a record of your UK contributions is needed by the authorities in the other country to decide your claim they will contact the HM Revenue and Customs HMRC Residency(Newcastle) on your behalf to obtain details of your UK insurance record.

The foreign authority may, exceptionally, ask you to get either a Certificate E104 which shows insurance for sickness and maternity purposes or an E301 which shows insurance for unemployment purposes. If the foreign authority asks you to do that, please complete form CA 3916 and return it to the address shown on the front. It would be useful if you could send copies of your last pay slip and any P60 certificates you hold with the CA3916 when making your application. This is because it may be necessary to get in touch with the employers you used to work for in the UK before a certificate can be sent.

Please note your claim will be decided using the other country's rules: it will not be decided under UK rules. You should also note that form E301 does not give you any automatic right to receive unemployment benefit in another EU country.

European Economic Area countries

Bulgaria ***
Czech Republic
Republic of Ireland
Romania ***
Slovenia *

** Switzerland is not a member of the EEA, but as a result of an agreement with the EU that came in on 1 June 2002, the EU rules on social security also largely cover Switzerland.

*** Applies from 1st January 2007.

Reciprocal Agreement countries

Japan - Further details of the Japan Reciprocal Agreement
New Zealand
Republic of Korea - Further details of the Republic of Korea Reciprocal Agreement
Yugoslavia *

*The Slovenia part of the Yugoslavia Reciprocal Agreement has been superseded by the European Community Regulations.

Please see the Department for Work & Pensions website for full details of our Social Security agreements with other countries.


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Further information


If you require a leaflet on any of the following, general subjects, please tick the appropriate box.


Contact information:

For customers who are unable to call during our opening hours, you may leave a message on our
answering service and we will return your call the next  working day.

If you e-mail us, we will endeavour to answer your query as quickly as possible. Please note that Internet e-mail is not secure. This means we will reply by e-mail only where we feel your confidentiality will not be breached. Otherwise, we will e-mail you to explain that we will be replying fully by letter or by telephone.

You can also write to us at:

HM Revenue and Customs
HMRC Residency(Newcastle)
Newcastle Upon Tyne
NE98 1ZZ
United Kingdom