I'm Retiring Abroad, Can I Still Get My UK Pension?

I’m Retiring Abroad, Can I Still Get My UK Pension?

Many Brits, with the pull of the warmer climate and so on, decide to retire abroad. In fact, according to an article in the Independent, the number of people from the UK retiring abroad has increased by 26% in the last decade.

But along with the decision to retire abroad comes questions. One of the main questions is whether or not you can still get your UK pension. If you are deciding to move abroad in your retirement, it is best to plan ahead and to consider how it might affect your finances, if at all. For example, find out whether or not you will be entitled to certain benefits, your State Pension, and what sort of taxations you might be subject to.

It might even be worth looking into specific pension schemes like QROPS, that are designed to pay into an overseas account or is bespoke to Brits hoping to retire in another country. Bear in mind, however, that some schemes of this nature will have restrictions on which countries they pay to without charges. They may charge fees for any overseas accounts, or just some. So, it is worth collating a list of questions or concerns you may have before approaching these providers.

The good news is that moving abroad in your retirement shouldn’t have any effect on your current personal or workplace pension scheme and your future access to it. However, it will serve you well to do the proper research anyway. For example, you should check a few thigs with your pension provider for piece of mind, such as whet­­­­her or not your current pension plan will pay into an overseas account. With a personal pension, this shouldn’t be an issue, but some workplace plans opt for UK only. Check also that you won’t be charged by your provider if you do opt for your pension to be paid into a bank overseas.

With regard to your state pension entitlement, moving abroad to retire should not have any effect. However, it will help to research into what you will be entitled to in terms of yearly increases based on inflation rates depending on the country you choose to retire in. For example, you should still receive the annual increases on your pension if you choose to retire in a country that has certain agreements with the UK, including those in the European Economic Area, such as Spain, Greece, Italy, Germany and so on. There are currently 26 countries in the EEA. However, it is always best to check, as there are still many countries that will see expats losing out on the annual increase, such as Australia and New Zealand.

To be on the safe side, it is worth having more than your state pension to rely on. Paying into a private pension scheme, or opening a savings account that is specifically designed to put money aside for your retirement is a wise choice. But so is choosing a country where you won’t lose out on annual rises in the state pension you are entitles to. So be sure to do the necessary homework before junping the gun and assuming that all countries will allow you the same entitlements.