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UK State Pension if you retire abroad

British ConsulateIf you are retired and wish to draw your UK pension in a foreign country then this can be done. Note however that there is a limitation on increases in your pension when you live outside the UK or outside of the European Economic Area or Switzerland. Most British expats tend to retire in Thailand and the Philippines and these are excluded from increases, as well as Australia and New Zealand.

Once you return to the UK then your pension will increase again. If you want to check your pension then you can do this online. The State Pension System is online in beta format but it does work and allows you to check what your pension will be. You must file a claim  within 4 months and 4 days of your State Pension age to claim. This can also be done online with the International Pension Centre or you can call them during office hours at +44 (0) 191 218 7777.

Your State Pension can be paid into:

  • a bank in the country you’re living in
  • a bank or building society in the UK

You can use:

  • an account in your name
  • a joint account
  • someone else’s account – if you have their permission and keep to the terms and conditions

You’ll need the international bank account number (IBAN) and bank identification code (BIC) numbers if you have an overseas account. You’ll be paid in local currency – the amount you get may change due to exchange rates. Note also that you can choose to be paid every 4 or 13 weeks. If you pension is less than  £5 per week then you will only be paid once a year.

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