State pension: How payment could be affected if you retire in Europe after Brexit

Pension: Expert gives advice on preparing for retirement

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Since the Brexit transition period, many British expats and potential immigrants are still unsure of how they can safely move themselves and their pension abroad. Securing one’s state pension starts with understanding the new rules and limitations  on claiming state pension in the EU, EEA and Switzerland in accordance with the EU Withdrawal Agreement.

A complete guide to claiming one’s pension abroad can be found on the website and the guidance can be used regardless of one’s nationality or when they moved. 

Individuals can still claim and receive their UK state pension if they live abroad in the EU, EEA or Switzerland.

Their state pension will rise every year in line with the increase announced in the UK and relevant social security contributions they make in the overseas country can count towards their eligibility for UK state pension.

Before moving abroad 

Before leaving the UK to work, live or retire abroad, one needs to tell the government office that deals with their benefits or state pension. 

Moving permanently

There are a variety of UK issued benefits available to those that have moved permanently to the EU or Switzerland, such as: 

Bereavement Support Payment, Industrial Injuries Benefits, Maternity Allowance, Statutory Maternity Pay, Statutory Paternity Pay and Statutory Sick Pay.

Moving abroad temporarily 

If one is moving abroad they can claim some benefits and state pension for a limited time so long as they meet the qualifying conditions to do so. 

Evidence to provide

Those living in the EU before December 31, 2020 need not worry as the claiming process and eligibility for their benefits and state pension has stayed the same.

However, those that have moved to the EU, EEA or Switzerland before December 31, 2020 and have taken up citizenship by naturalisation in their country of choice need to provide new evidence to make their claims.

This evidence includes: a copy of their resident document issued by the December 31, 2020 and a copy of their EU, EEA or Swiss passport and naturalisation document issued by December 31, 2020.

Those that do not have either document issued before the December 31, 2020 will be asked to send evidence to prove their home address in their new country dated at December 31, 2020.

This can include bank statements, rent or mortgage statements and evidence of payment or utility bills. 

These must have the individual’s name and the date on them. 

Those that do not have any of these documents are advised to contact the International Pension Centre for further guidance on claiming their state pension.

Annuities and personal pensions

Before moving abroad one should advise their personal pension provider who should be able to make sure that they continue to receive their payments following their move abroad.

Workplace pensions

Workplace pensions can be paid overseas according to UK law and this is not expected to change post-Brexit.

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