National Insurance in the UK and changes to French Social Security Laws

On the 9th March, France announced changes to their social security laws, which will come into effect on the 1st July 2017.

These changes mean that if you have spent over 183 days in France within a 365 day period, you and your employer will be liable to pay social security contributions to ENIM (the French Mariners’ social security agency). That is, unless you are already paying social security to any EEA state, or any state which has a bilateral social security treaty with France.

With regard to UK National Insurance, you will first need to identify whether you are liable to pay class 1 NI. HMRC’s Mariners questionnaire is used to determine whether you should be paying class 1, or if you are entitled to pay class 2 (at the reduced rate). If any of the below apply to you then you are liable to make NI payments to HMRC:

    -Work for or are paid by a company based in the UK.

    -Work on a vessel registered in the UK or the Isle of Man for an employer based in the European Economic Area (EEA) or in a country that has a reciprocal agreement with the UK.

If you are not liable to pay class 1 NI, then there are 2 possible classes that you may be eligible to pay: Class 2,Under Mariners contributions, which is £2.80 per week, or Class 3, at the higher rate of £14.10 per week. It is advisable to make these voluntary NI contributions in order to gain certain benefits in the UK (e.g access to the NHS and state pension). You can also backdate your payments for up to 6 years, so that there is no/limited gap in your NI contributions record. (Which would lead to a restriction on benefits available to you)

For further advice regarding your personal circumstances please contact a member of the Marine Accounts team.

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Any advice in this publication is not intended or written by Marine Accounts to be used by a client or entity for the purpose of (i) avoiding penalties that may be imposed on any taxpayer or (ii) promoting, marketing or recommending to another party matters herein.

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