Claiming your UK state pension from overseas

Claiming your UK state pension from overseas

Claiming your UK state pension from overseas

Retiring overseas is ever more popular with UK citizens already at or approaching retirement age, but the chore of claiming the state pension might be at the bottom of the emigration to-do list for many.

Expatriates who’ve already left the UK before they’ve reached state pensionable age are advised to apply to the UK International Pensions Centre, (IPC), but should realise that, it they’re been living overseas for a period of time, the government is likely to have lost track of their whereabouts. Even so, claiming as an expat is relatively straightforward if the rules are followed.

For those about to retire, whether or not emigrating is on the agenda, a claims form should drop into your post box some four months before your state pension retirement age. You should already have received an estimate of your pension amount based on your contributions, together with information on how to query the figure provided. If you don’t receive your claim form at the stated time and are intending to leave the UK, you should get in touch with the International Pensions Centre before you go, having first checked online that you’re entitled to a pension.

At the present time, pension rules are changing, with the previous qualification of 30 years’ contributions or credits now 35 years for males born after April 5 1951 and females born after the same date in 1953. If you need your pension payments to go to an internationally-based bank, you’ll need to provide your bank ID code (BIC) and foreign bank account number (IBAN). In certain countries, banks don’t use IBAN numbers, but the bank ID number you’re given will still work for international payments.

Expats in employment in certain countries overseas before pensionable age kicks in will need to send a claim form to the IPC. If you’re not sure whether your overseas country of employment is listed as linked to UK pension provision, the IPC’s website will help. Another important fact to remember is that, in the majority of countries overseas, your UK pension will be frozen at the point of your departure from the UK. Also worth checking is whether UK expats in your chosen destination are blocked from receiving annual winter fuel allowance.

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