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The overseas pensioner

Factsheet

Publication date:

22 February 2016

Last updated:

08 November 2018

Author(s):

Paul Clarke

Individuals entitled to a UK State Pension who decide to retire abroad should consider the potential impact this might have on their State Pension.

Contents

Eligibility

The fact that an individual retires outside of the UK does not impact upon their eligibility for the majority of State Pension Entitlement. The main exception to this rule is the Category D Basic State Pension where entitlement is based upon the claimant being resident in the UK.

Claiming the State Pension Abroad

How this done will depend upon the country in which the individual is resident when making their claim and also the country(ies) in which they have worked.

If an individual has worked in the UK and overseas, they should contact the International Pension Centre:

The Pension Service 11
Mail Handling Site A
Wolverhampton
WV98 1LW
United Kingdom
tvp.internationalqueries@dwp.gsi.gov.uk
Telephone: +44 (0)191 218 7777
Textphone: +44 (0)191 218 7280

Claimants who only worked overseas, only lived overseas or are currently working overseas, in one of the following countries:

Austria

Belgium

Bulgaria

Croatia

Cyprus

Czech Republic

Denmark

Estonia

Finland

France

Germany

Gibraltar

Greece

Hungary

Iceland

Ireland

Italy

Latvia

Liechtenstein

Lithuania

Luxembourg

Malta

Netherlands

Norway

Poland

Portugal

Romania

Slovakia

Slovenia

Spain

Sweden

Switzerland

 

 

 

 Should contact the relevant authority of the country in which the individual is resident to claim the State Pension.

In the case of all other countries, the claimant should contact the International Pension Centre.

Payment of the State Pension

The State Pension can be paid into:

  • a bank in the country in which the pensioner is resident
  • a bank or building society in the UK

It can only be paid to one bank account. This means if a pensioner spends sometime in the UK and sometime overseas, they will need to decide which jurisdiction they wish the payment to be made to.

The bank account can be:

  • an account in pensioner's sole name
  • a joint account
  • someone else's account; - if the pensioner has their permission and keeps to the terms and conditions of the account

The DWP will need to be provided with the IBAN and BIC numbers for payments for some countries outside the UK.

The payment will be made in the local currency of the country in which the payments are made. The actual amount received will vary with exchange rates.

Increases to the State Pension in Payment

Whilst the DWP will pay the UK State Pension worldwide. Increases will only be paid to pension in payment if the recipient lives in:

  • the European Economic Area (EEA), Gibraltar or Switzerland
  • a country that has a social security agreement with the UK that allows for cost of living increases to the State Pension

Citizens of EEA countries, Gibraltar or Switzerland entitled to a social security benefit or pension will keep their entitlement if they move between those countries.

A list of the current EEA countries can be found at on the UK Government website.

The UK has agreements with some other countries to protect the social security rights of workers moving between the 2 countries.

These are sometimes known as bilateral or reciprocal agreements.

The following countries have such agreements UK pensioners will receive increases on their UK State Pension, in payment each year:

Barbados

Bermuda

Bosnia-Herzegovina

Guernsey

Isle of Man

Israel

Jamaica

Jersey

Kosovo

Macedonia

Mauritius

Montenegro

Philippines

Serbia

Turkey

USA

 

 

 

 

The UK has social security agreements with Canada and New Zealand, but annual increase in the UK State Pension is not paid to UK pensioners resident in these countries.

Further Reading

Tagged as

This document is believed to be accurate but is not intended as a basis of knowledge upon which advice can be given. Neither the author (personal or corporate), the CII group, local institute or Society, or any of the officers or employees of those organisations accept any responsibility for any loss occasioned to any person acting or refraining from action as a result of the data or opinions included in this material. Opinions expressed are those of the author or authors and not necessarily those of the CII group, local institutes, or Societies.