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Wednesday, 3 October 2023

Pensions for Britons living abroad

If you are retiring abroad, you can continue to receive your UK State Pension. You can get pension yearly increases if you are in a European Economic Area (EEA) country or country with a special UK agreement. Find out more about claiming your pension while abroad.

Receiving your State Pension when moving abroad

If you are moving permanently, you will only get yearly increases in your pension if you are in a European Economic Area (EEA) country. You’ll get yearly increases in your pension if you move to a country that has a special agreement with the UK. This special agreement must allow for the annual increase of the UK State Pension. If you spend six months or more each year in the UK, you'll be entitled to your State Pension - with yearly increases - paid in full.

You will find a link to a list of countries in the EEA below.

If you are not planning to live in another EEA country for some time, you will need the State Pension forecast application form (BR19). You can get this from your local Jobcentre Plus office or social security office.

If you are moving to another EEA country or anywhere else in the world you will need to inform the UK Pensions Service. Let the UK Pensions Service know that you are moving abroad and give them your new address (contact details are below).

Building up a State Pension abroad in the EEA

State Pension age and entitlements vary from country to country

You may want to know about your own pension rights in another country in the EEA. You need to ask the department or unit responsible for pensions and benefits in that country. Check the government website for the country where you are moving to or are living in.

The State Pension age and entitlements may vary depending on which country you are going to live in.

For a full list of the countries that make up the EEA, follow the 'Claiming benefits in Europe' link below.

Estimate your UK State Pension

You can get an estimate of your UK State Pension by asking for:

  • a State Pension forecast if you are a woman born before 6 April 2023 or a man born before 6 April 2023
  • a State Pension statement if you are a woman born on or after 6 April 2023 or a man born on or after 6 April 2023

Claiming your pension in the EEA

Remember to tell The Pension Service when you move abroad

Every EEA country has its own rules and the pensionable age may vary.

If you have been paying into a State Pension in the UK you will be sent a claim form from The Pension Service. You usually get this four months before you reach the UK pensionable age.

It will ask you if you want to claim a UK retirement pension. It also asks for details of any periods of residence and state insurance you have in other countries. You may be or have been living in another EEA country and claim a pension from that country. The UK Pension Service will pass details of your claim to any other EEA country where you have been insured.

Change of address

Remember to tell The Pension Service when you change your address or the form may not get to you. If may have an enquiry about your pension when you are abroad. You can either complete the online form or contact the Pension Service International Pension Centre:

International Pension Centre
Tyneview Park
NE98 1BA
United Kingdom
Telephone: +44 (0) 191 218 7777

Personal and company pensions

If you're in a personal or company pension scheme, moving abroad shouldn't have any effect because:

  • your pension should continue to be paid in full
  • you're normally entitled to any rises regardless of the country you retire to

However, it's important to check the details of your pension scheme carefully before you move. In particular, check whether:

  • your scheme will pay into an overseas bank account – some company schemes will only pay into a UK bank
  • your annuity company will transfer money overseas free of charge (some companies will charge you for each overseas payment)

Tax - do you count as a UK resident for tax purposes?

Residence rules can be complicated. Find out more by following the links below.

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