Claiming Your State Pension Abroad: A Quick Guide

Are you thinking of retiring abroad? Here’s what you need to know about claiming your UK State Pension.

Eligibility and Claiming

You can claim your State Pension abroad if you’ve paid enough UK National Insurance contributions. Check your State Pension forecast to see how much you might get.

How to Claim:

  • Must be within 4 months of your State Pension age.
  • Contact the International Pension Centre or request an international claim form.

Choosing Payment Destination

If you live part of the year abroad, choose one country for your pension payments. Splitting payments between countries is not allowed.

Payment Methods

Your State Pension can be paid into:

  • A bank in your current country
  • A UK bank or building society

Payments can go into:

  • Your account
  • A joint account
  • Someone else’s account (with permission)

You’ll need IBAN and BIC numbers for international accounts. Payments are made in local currency, so amounts can vary with exchange rates.

Payment Schedule:

  • Every 4 or 13 weeks
  • Annually in December if less than £5 per week
  • Possible 1-day delay during US federal holidays

Pension Increases

Your State Pension increases each year if you live in:

  • The European Economic Area (EEA)
  • Gibraltar
  • Switzerland
  • Countries with a social security agreement (not Canada or New Zealand)

No increases if you live outside these areas. If you return to the UK, your pension will change to the current rate.

Tax Information

UK Residents:

  • You may pay UK tax on your State Pension based on your income.

Overseas Residents:

  • You may be taxed by the UK and your country of residence.
  • Tax relief is available to avoid double taxation.

If there’s a double taxation agreement, you pay tax once, either to the UK or your resident country.

Reporting Changes

Report changes (like address or bank details) to the International Pension Centre by phone or post.

Life Certificate:

If requested, complete and return the form signed by a witness.

Witnesses don’t need to be UK residents or hold specific passports.

Returning to the UK

Inform the Pension Service with your return date and contact details. Also, notify HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) of your return.

For more details, visit the official government website here – Print State Pension if you retire abroad: Claim State Pension abroad – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)