If like many Brits, you’re planning on spending your retirement years (or at least a portion of those years) outside the UK, then you’ll no doubt have a few questions on how this will affect your state pension. With UK State Pension rules set to change in April 2016, there are a number of factors to consider when transferring funds overseas. At Currency Solutions, we help thousands of individuals transfer their State Pensions abroad, so we thought we’d put together a list of some of the most frequently asked questions our customers have;

How do I claim my UK State Pension when living abroad?

If you live in an EEA (European Economic Area) country, then claiming your state pension is a fairly simple process. You must be within 4 months and 4 days of the age you are officially eligible to make the claim. You will require an account in that country for the pension to be paid directly into, or to have it transferred to from a UK bank account. The UK also has arrangements for British nationals living in a number of countries outside the EEA. These include Barbados, Bermuda, Canada, Israel,Jamaica, Jersey and Guernsey, Mauritius, New Zealand, the Philippines, former Yugoslavian Republics, Turkey and the USA.

Will my State Pension increase when I’m abroad?

While you will still be able to claim your UK state pension abroad, pension credits, a benefit which supplements your weekly income, will stop as soon as you move overseas permanently. In addition, while you’re State Pension will likely rise each year you are in the UK, if you move overseas, you may not be entitled to this increase. You will only be entitled to this increase, if you live in the EEA,Gibraltar, Switzerland, or a country that has a social security agreement with the UK. You can find a full list of the countries where you are entitled to an annual increase in your state pension on the GOV.UK website.

What happens if I move abroad before I take my pension income?

If you decide to move abroadbefore you start to receive any of your pension income, you have a number ofoptions at your disposal. You can stop paying into your pension and access themoney at a later date. Alternatively, you can continue to pay into your pension, although bear in mind, that you may not eligible for tax relief onyour contributions, and the amount may be limited.

What Countries does the UK have a social security agreement with? 

Outside of the EEA, if you live in one of the following countries you will usually be able to receive an increase in your pension every year;       

Barbados, Bermuda,Bosnia-Herzegovina, Jersey, Guernsey, the Isle of Man, Israel, Jamaica, Kosovo,Macedonia, Mauritius, Montenegro, Philippines, Serbia, Turkey, USA.

The UK also has a social security agreement with Canada and New Zealand, though this agreement does not facilitate a yearly increase to your UK state pension.

Do I have to pay tax on my State Pension if I live abroad?

If you live abroad and are classed as a non-UK resident, you usually do not have to pay any tax on your state pension. You may however have to pay tax in the country you live in, and if you are receiving another pension income, you may also be taxed on that.There are however, a number of countries which have a double taxation agreement with the UK in order to prevent you effectively being taxed twice on the same income. Transferring your pension could ultimately change the amount you get when you retire so make sure you transfer the money into a qualified recognized overseas pensions scheme which meets the same standards as those in the UK. For more information on Tax on your UK income, visit GOV.UK.

How is my State Pension paid when I live abroad?

Your State Pension can be paid directly into a bank account in the country where you live, or into a bank account in the UK and subsequently transferred over. The latter option will allow you to shop around for a cheaper alternative to the banks when it comes time to make the transfer. If you do choose to receive your state pension into a bank account outside the UK, then you will obviously receive it in that local currency. The amount you receive will be affected depending on the local exchange rate, so make sure you factor in what the current exchange rates are.

Currency Solutions helps thousands of people every year transfer their state pensions from UK bank accounts into their overseas bank accounts in the country they now reside in.Along with receiving highly competitive rates from us through our best rate guarantee, we also provide first class customer service throughout the entire transaction process. 

It’s why we’re consistently voted the most trusted Foreign Exchange provider in the UK.