If you are an expat about to retire and want to claim your state pension, you can still claim your pension by getting in touch with the International Pension centre.
It’s likely that if you have spent some time out of the UK that the government has lost track of your overseas address.
But claiming the state pension as an expat is still easy if you follow these simple steps:
If you do not receive a claim form in the post four months before your state pension retirement age, then contact the International Pension Centre about three months before you are due to retire.
Before getting in touch, check you are entitled to claim the state pension and/or the additional state pension.
Qualifying years change
Don’t forget the state pension is changing – the old qualification was 30 years of national insurance contributions or credits, but this is rising to 35 years for men born after April 5, 1951 and women born after April 5, 1953.
You can email, call or write to the International Pension Centre:
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Telephone: +44 (0)191 218 7777 between 8am and 6pm Monday to Friday (UK time)
- Write to:
The Pension Service 11
Mail Handling Site A
To have your state pension paid into a foreign bank account, you will need to give the International Pension Centre your bank identification code (BIC) and international bank account number (IBAN).
You can generally find these on your bank statements or online accounts – but your bank will give them if you ask.
Frozen pension payments
If you have lived and worked overseas, send the claim form to the International Pension Centre unless you have lived or worked in:
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 or Switzerland.
Some special arrangements also apply to someone who has lived and worked in other countries, so call the International Pension Centre if you are unsure about your state pension status.
Many expats fail to find out how much their state pension is worth once they have moved abroad. In many countries outside Europe and a few special cases, the pension payment is not index linked and remains at the level of the first payment for life.