National Insurance Contributions

Agreement between the United Kingdom and the Republic of Korea on Social Security

Contents

Introduction

This Agreement ensures that you are not liable to pay social security contributions to both countries at the same time. This guidance explains which contributions you have to pay if you go from one country to work in the other, either National Insurance contributions to the UK scheme or to the Korean scheme.

Where we refer to the United Kingdom (UK) it includes England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands of Jersey, Guernsey, Alderney, Herm and Jethou.

Korea means the Republic of Korea.

The insurance schemes in Jersey and Guernsey are not the same as in the UK, so some of the information in the leaflet may not apply to you if you are covered by those schemes. Ask at a Social Security office in either Jersey or Guernsey if you want to know how the Convention works in your case.

If you are going to Korea, let us know when you are leaving, and give your address in Korea. If you change your address later let us know the new one too. Tell us when you come back to the UK.

Contact us if you need more information about how this convention affects you. The Department for Work and Pensions (Opens new window) can give you information about UK Social Security benefits.

For details of the Korean scheme contact their National Pension Corporation.

National Pension Corporation
Kukmin-Yeonkum Building
7-16 Shincheon-Dong
Songpa-Gu
Seoul 138-240
Republic of Korea.

Ordinary Residence

For National Insurance purposes you are ordinarily resident in the UK if you

  • normally live there, apart from temporary or occasional absences and
  • have a settled and regular mode of life there.

You can be ordinarily resident in a country from which you are temporarily absent, or two places at once.

You can find out more about whether you count as ordinarily resident on page 12 of booklet NI38 (PDF 499K).

Or, if you would like further help with this you can contact us.

Working in Korea

If you and your employer are based in the UK, you both pay Class 1 National Insurance contributions to the UK scheme on your pay while you are working in Korea if

  • you are already paying NationaI Insurance contributions in the UK
  • your UK employer sends you to work in Korea, and
  • you are not likely to work in Korea for more than five years.

This arrangement also applies if you are working in another country and continue to pay UK National Insurance contributions and your UK employer sends you to work in Korea direct from the other country.

During this time you and your employer will not have to pay contributions to the Korean scheme. To make sure you are not asked to pay, your employer must apply for a certificate of continuing liability under the UK scheme by using this link or contacting us.

We will send two copies of the certificate. One is for you to keep. The other is for the people who represent your employer in Korea. You and your employer should look at the important notes on page 3 of the certificate, which tell you, your employer and your employer's representative in Korea 'What to do now' with the certificate.

If you work in Korea for more than five years

If your period of employment in Korea is unexpectedly extended beyond the initial five years, it may be possible, in exceptional circumstances and with the agreement of the Korean authorities, to extend the period of your certificate.

If the Korean authorities agree, you and your employer will continue to pay UK contributions. For more details your employer should contact us.

If you and your employer know that you will work in Korea for more than five years, you and your employer pay contributions to the Korean scheme as soon as you start work in Korea. Neither you nor your employer will be required to pay UK National Insurance contributions during your employment in Korea. If you need further advice about paying contributions to the Korean social security scheme you should contact the National Pension Corporation (Opens new window).

Korean resident working in the UK

If a Korean employer sends you to work in the UK for less than five years, apply to the Korean authorities for a certificate showing that you and your employer continue to pay contributions to the Korean scheme while you work in the UK. You will not have to pay contributions to the UK scheme.

Present this certificate to an Inland Revenue Employer Compliance Officer to show why UK contributions are not being paid.

Employed in both countries - resident in the UK

If you are employed in the UK and Korea for the same period and remain ordinarily resident in the UK, you and your UK employer will be liable to pay UK Class 1 National Insurance contributions. You will not have to pay to the Korean scheme.

To make sure that you are not asked to pay, your UK employer should apply to us for a certificate confirming that you continue to pay UK contributions.

Employed in both countries - resident in Korea

If you are employed in Korea and the UK for the same period and remain ordinarily resident in Korea, you and your Korean employer will be liable to pay contributions to the Korean scheme. You will not have to pay to the UK scheme.

To make sure that you are not asked to pay, your Korean employer should apply to the Korean authorities for a certificate confirming that you continue to pay Korean contributions.

Self-employed and resident in the UK

If you are self-employed in Korea or in both the UK and Korea for the same period and you are ordinarily resident in the UK, you must pay Class 2 National Insurance contributions (and possibly Class 4 National Insurance contributions) to the UK scheme.

Find more information about starting a business

You will not have to pay contributions to the Korean scheme. To make sure that you are not asked to pay, you should apply to us for a certificate confirming that you continue to pay to the UK scheme.

UK resident employed in the United Kingdom and self-employed in Korea

You and your employer will be liable to pay Class 1 National Insurance contributions to the UK scheme. You will not have to pay to the Korean scheme and you will not have to pay UK Class 2 contributions for your self-employment.

To make sure that you are not asked to pay, your employer should apply to us for a certificate confirming that you continue to pay to the UK scheme.

Self employed and resident in Korea

If you are self-employed only in the UK or self-employed in both Korea and the UK for the same period and you are ordinarily resident in Korea, you will be liable to pay contributions to the Korean scheme.

You will not have to pay contributions to the UK scheme. To make sure that you are not asked to pay, you should apply to the Korean authorities for a certificate confirming that you continue to pay to the Korean scheme.

Korean resident employed in Korea and self-employed in the United Kingdom

If you are employed in Korea and self-employed in the UK for the same period, you and your employer will be liable to pay contributions to the Korean scheme. You will not have to pay to the UK scheme.

To make sure that you are not asked to pay, your employer should apply to the Korean authorities for a certificate confirming that you continue to pay to the Korean scheme.

Other types of work arrangements

There are special arrangements for you if you

  • work on any ship, vessel or aircraft registered in the UK or Korea
  • work in the Government or local Government Service of the UK or Korea
  • work in a diplomatic mission or consular post of the UK or Korea but not in Government Service, or privately for an official of such a mission or post.

We can tell you more about these arrangements if you work for a UK employer. If you work for a Korean employer, get in touch with the Korean authorities.

If your work in Korea is different from the work mentioned above, and is not covered by the special arrangements noted, you will not be liable to pay UK Class 1 contributions, but you may have to pay into the Korean scheme.

It is important that you get in touch with the Korean authorities as soon as you start work there. They will be able to tell you what you have to do about insurance in Korea and how you can become a member of their scheme. They will also tell you what you must pay and what sort of benefits it will give you.

Voluntary UK National Insurance contributions

If you are abroad and do not have to pay UK Class 1 or Class 2 contributions, you may wish to think about paying UK voluntary contributions. Please see our general information on National Insurance abroad.

Contact us if you need more advice. We will tell you what these arrangements mean for your own social security position.

Medical services

You can only be treated under the United Kingdom National Health Service (NHS) while you are in the UK. You can not get any money back from the NHS for any medical help you pay for in Korea. Medical treatment is not covered by the Convention.

If you are going to Korea for three months or more, please let either your GP practice or your local health authority know the date you and your family will be leaving the UK. Please ensure that you provide each person's name, address, date of birth and NHS number (if known).

In England a local health authority will be a Primary Care Trust (PCT). In Wales this will be a Local Health Board (LHB), in Scotland a Health Board and in Northern Ireland a Health and Social Services Board. Their contact details can be found in the business numbers section of the phone book or from a post office, or on the website www,nhs.uk.

If you come back to live permanently in the UK, you may apply to any practice near to where you are living to re-register as a NHS patient.

Medical treatment in the United Kingdom - temporary visits

Under NHS rules anyone, wherever they are from, who needs treatment for an emergency condition that occurs during a visit to the UK will not be charged for treatment at a hospital accident and emergency department or general practitioners surgery.

However, this does not extend to routine, non-emergency treatment from a general practitioner or dentist nor to any hospital treatment you receive after admission to the wards from an accident and emergency department. You will normally have to pay for these services, as well as a charge for any medicines you need. If you come to the UK specifically for medical treatment, you will have to pay for it. You will not get your money back.

Living permanently in the United Kingdom

If you have come to live permanently in the UK, you can get the full range of treatments available under the NHS. These are generally free of charge, although there are some charges for medicines, dental treatment, glasses and some medical appliances.

Please see details of medical treatment (Opens new window) in England and Wales.