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Pensions, benefits and tax when retiring abroad

If you're retiring abroad, or considering doing so, it's important to look into the effect this will have on your finances before you move. This should ensure that you're well prepared.

Your State Pension

If you're retiring abroad, you can still receive your UK State Pension. You may be able to arrange for it to be paid directly into your bank account abroad.

Check your entitlement to yearly rises

To receive State Pension rises you must live in the European Economic Area (EEA) or a country which has a social security agreement with the UK that covers State Pension increases.

If you spend six months or more each year in the UK, you'll be entitled to your State Pension with yearly increases.

Contact the Northern Ireland Pension Centre

When you move abroad, you should inform the Northern Ireland Pension Centre and tell them your new address as soon as possible.

Personal and workplace pensions

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

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

You should 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 workplace 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)

Benefits

Your entitlement to benefits abroad depends on where you live

You might be able to continue receiving or claiming a benefit if you go to a European Economic Area (EEA) country, or a country that has a social security agreement with the UK. Before you leave Northern Ireland, it's important to check the social security agreement with the country you're moving to.

You should also ask social security authorities in the foreign country if you're eligible to claim benefits there.

If you're already claiming benefits in Northern Ireland

You must inform the Social Security Agency/Jobs and Benefits office that you're moving abroad. They will tell you how your benefits will be affected. You can find your local office at the following link.

Tax

Do you count as a UK resident for tax purposes?

if you live abroad, you remain a UK resident for tax purposes if you spend either:

  • an average of 91 days or more in the UK each tax year (calculated over a maximum of four years)
  • 183 days or more in the UK during one tax year

Tax on income from the UK

If you live abroad and receive income from UK sources  – for example pensions, rent or investments – this income is liable for UK tax.

Help with claiming benefit

Some people need help with claiming benefit because they can’t manage their own affairs. This could be due to their health or a disability. An appointee can be given the legal right to act for them. Find out about becoming an appointee.

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