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State Pension for people living overseas

If you're planning to live abroad when you retire, you'll still be able to claim your State Pension. Find out how your State Pension is paid if you live abroad.

Claiming your State Pension when you live abroad

You can claim your State Pension if you live outside the UK. You will only receive the yearly increases if you live in:

  • the European Economic Area (EEA)
  • Switzerland
  • a country which has a social security agreement with the UK, and the agreement allows for the annual increase of the UK State Pension

If you live outside these areas, you won’t be entitled to the annual increases that normally happen. However, if you return to live in the UK, your State Pension will be increased to current levels.

How the State Pension is paid if you live abroad

If you live abroad your State Pension can be paid directly into one of the following:

  • a bank in the country where you live
  • a bank or building society in the UK

How to claim your State Pension if you live abroad

If you’re from Northern Ireland, live abroad and have only worked in the UK, you should contact the International Pension Centre to claim State Pension.

If you’re from Northern Ireland, live abroad and you’re currently working overseas, you should claim State Pension through the country where you are still paying contributions.

If you’re from Northern Ireland, live abroad and last paid pension contributions abroad, you should claim State Pension through the country where you last paid contributions.

If you only spend part of the year abroad

If you divide your time between the UK and abroad you'll have to choose which country you want your State Pension paid into. You can't choose to have it paid in one country for part of the year, and a different country for the rest of the year.

If you come back to live in Northern Ireland

If you return to settle in Northern Ireland you should inform the Northern Ireland Pension Centre. They will pay your State Pension to a bank account in Northern Ireland.

Paying tax on your State Pension

Your tax position will depend on:

  • whether you're classed as 'non-UK resident' for tax purposes
  • the country in which you're living

If you spend part of your time in the UK and part abroad you're likely to be classed as a UK resident. If you move abroad permanently, you're likely to be classed as a non-UK resident.

If you are a non-resident your tax position depends on whether you live in a country with a 'double taxation agreement' with the UK. This means you won't have to pay UK tax on your State Pension, but it will be taxable in the country where you live.

If you live in a country without a 'double taxation agreement', you'll probably have to pay UK tax and tax abroad. Check HMRC's list of countries which have double taxation agreements with the UK.

Making State Pension contributions if you work abroad

If you're working abroad, you may be able to pay into the State Pension scheme of the country where you're working. You can do this in EEA countries and Canada and New Zealand, where there are special arrangements.

Depending on how long you work abroad, you can have your contributions credited to your UK State Pension. Alternatively you could receive two pensions - one from the UK and one from the country where you lived and worked. This will be decided when you reach UK State Pension age, taking into account where you live.

Who to contact before you move abroad

If you're moving from Northern Ireland to live abroad, you'll need to inform:

The Northern Ireland Pension Centre will usually send you a form about four months before you reach State Pension age. This form asks about any insurance and residence you may have in other countries. If you're less than three months from State Pension age and have not received a form, you should contact the International Pension Centre.

If you live in an EEA country you should claim as follows:

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