Frequently asked questions: Living overseas
Have you notified The Pension Service of your current address? Failure to do so may result in correspondence being sent to the wrong address and suspension of your pension.
The UK State Pension age is 65 for men and 60 for women. The State Pension age for women is changing and will gradually increase from 60 to 65 between 2010 and 2020.
Use our State Pension Age calculator to work out your State Pension age
If you are more than four months away from UK State Pension age you can request a State Pension Forecast which will tell you what UK State Pension you can expect to get.
A State Pension Forecast tells you in today's money values:
- the amount of State Pension you have earned already and
- the amount of State Pension you can expect at State Pension age based on what you have earned already and what you might earn before you reach State Pension age.
But it will not include any insurance contributions you may have paid in another EEA country, or country with which the UK has a social security agreement.
Find out more about State Pension Forecasts in our A to Z section
Pension Forecasts for overseas customers are dealt with by HM Revenue & Customs. Find out more on HM Revenue & Customs website.
If you have paid National Insurance contributions in the UK we will usually send you a claim form about four months before you reach UK State Pension age.
This form asks you to tell us about any insurance and residence you may have in other countries.
Contact The Pension Service from overseas if you are less than four months away from State Pension age and you have not received a claim pack.
If you're thinking of taking up your State Pension later, find out more in the State Pension deferral section on the Department for Work and Pensions website.
If you claim State Pension in the EEA or agreement country where you live, that country will pass details of your claim to any other EEA or agreement country where you have been insured.
Each EEA or agreement country where you have paid insurance contributions towards a pension will look at your contributions under its own scheme and will work out how much (if any) pension you can have under its own rules.
Any insurance contributions you have made in another EEA or agreement country may be taken into account if it will help you to get a state pension, or a higher state pension.
Yes, you will receive a pension from each EEA or agreement country where you have made insurance contributions, if you have at least the minimum amount of insurance contributions required in each country to qualify.
Each country adds together your insurance contributions from all EEA countries. Then each country sees how much state pension (if any) you would get if your insurance contributions had all been paid into that country's own social security scheme.
However, each country pays you part of your pension. How much that country pays you depends on how much you have paid into its scheme.
You can be paid a UK State Pension (with an extra amount if you are aged 80 or more), in any other EEA or agreement country.
You will get the same as you would get in the UK.
Find out about how much State Pension you might get in the A to Z section, or by getting a State Pension Forecast from HM Revenue & Customs. Forecasts for overseas customers are dealt with by HM Revenue & Customs.
How your pension is paid to you depends on where you are living and where your bank account is.
Select the country you live in from the drop down menu to find out how your pension can be paid to you.
If you get a State Pension from the UK, you may also be paid extra for certain adults who depend on you.
You may get this extra payment even if the person who depends on you is in the UK. The extra pension will be worked out in the same way as the rest of your State Pension.
If the EEA country you live in pays you a pension, it should pay the benefits for your children, too.The EEA country that you live in will base your children's benefits on its own scheme. If you do not get a pension in the country where you live, and you and your husband or your wife are not working, the benefits for your children will be paid by either:
- the country that you get a pension from or
- if you get a pension from two countries, the country where you were paying insurance contributions for the longest time.
The National Insurance contributions you have paid in the UK may be used by other EEA countries when they decide what benefit you can get.
The European Economic Area (EEA) is made up of all European Union countries - Austria, Belgium, Czeckh Republic, Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Ireland, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain and Sweden plus Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway.
The UK is also part of the EEA. The UK comprises England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. The UK does not include the Isle of Man or the Channel Islands.
Switzerland is not a member of the EEA but from 1 June 2002 the European Community (EC) rules on social security have covered Switzerland.
Which countries does the UK have a social security agreement with ?
The countries referred to in the these FAQs which the UK has agreements with are:
Barbados, Bermuda, Cyprus, Israel, Jamaica, Jersey and Guernsey, Malta, Mauritius, Philippines, Turkey, USA, Yugoslavia (applies to the Republics of the former Yugoslavia)
Find out about social security agreement with other countries on the Department for Work and Pensions website
There are special agreements with Canada and New Zealand which allow periods of residence in those countries to count towards your pension in the UK, as long as you are actually living in the UK.
A similar agreement with Australia ended on 28 February 2001, but a period you spent in Australia before that date may still count towards your UK pension, again provided you are actually living in the UK. To learn about your right of appeal, go to the Department for Work and Pensions website
For Canada read or print the Department for Work and Pensions leaflet on the Social Security agreement between the United Kingdom and Canada.
For New Zealand read or print the Department for Work and Pensions leaflet on the Social Security agreement between the United Kingdom and New Zealand.
For Australia contact the International Pension Centre by telephone, email, fax or post.
Contact the overseas office for working age inquiries through the Department for Work and Pensions website.
You can find information on Winter Fuel payments for overseas residents in the Winter Fuel section of this website.
If you want to find out more about state pensions for those living abroad, you can contact the International Pension Centre by phone, fax or email through The Pension Service website.
If you want to find out more about coming to the UK from abroad you can read or print our leaflet Coming from abroad and social security benefits.
If you want to check which benefits you may be entitled to upon your return to the UK, you can find out more on the Department for Work and Pensions website.
Enquiries about National Insurance contributions for overseas customers are dealt with by HM Revenue & Customs. Find out more on HM Revenue & Customs website