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Hello,

My wife is a Japanese citizen currently on a spousal visa here in the UK. Shehasn't worked since coming here and will not be working for the forseeable future as she is pregnant.

What is her eligibility for a UK state pension? I know it's based on NI contributions which she hasn't made, but can she voluntarily make them until she may start working here? Can I make them on her behalf?

Or is a private pension the only way to go?

Thanks.
 

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To get state pension, she has to make NI contributions (NIC) or be credited with them. She needs 35 qualifying years to get full pension, with minimum of 10 years. To make NIC, she needs NI number. If she isn't in work, she can make Class 3 so-called voluntary contributions of £14.10 a week. Certain people get NI credit when they aren't in work, such as those who get child benefit, but as she is still under immigration control, she can't claim it for herself for 5 years until ILR. Though you can claim CB as the other parent, it won't help her to get NI credit.
Whether it's worth paying Class 3 contributions is a moot point. If she is going to stay here for the rest of her working life, there should be enough years left to make contributions while she is in work or get NI credit after ILR while she looks after the children or is on maternity leave. So you may decide it's not worth making Class 3 contributions for the time being (which is generally non-refundable if you later change your mind), and instead put money into ISA etc.
 
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